But now proof comes from two persons who joined the 'Maoists' with the sole aim of escaping death and have now escaped from their clutches. One of them, Mongol Mahato belonging to Nutandehi village in Salboni, in fact worked for the top 'Maoist' leader, Kishenji, as an assistant for around two months. They stayed in the jungle along with the 'Maoists' and had witnessed many of their barbaric actions.
Presently, taking shelter outside their village, these two persons spoke to People's Democracy recently on their experience with the 'Maoists'. When the 'Maoists' entered their village last year, they had threatened to kill Mongol Mahato, along with many others they suspected of being CPI (M) supporters. After being underground for few days, Mahato approached the TMC-'Maoists' and professed to work for them. They made him participate in meetings and rallies in the village. Later he was taken into the jungle where he got an opportunity to work for the notorious Kishenji for around two months. He used to make tea for them and also worked as a barber for Kishenji.
Asked to describe what he saw during this period, Mahato told us that the Trinamool leaders would regularly drop by and hold talks with Kishenji for hours together. There would also be leaders from the PCPA participating in such meetings. They used to provide list of CPI (M) workers to be killed in such meetings. He says PCPA, its armed outfit, the Gana Militia, and 'Maoists' are all one and the same with different nomenclature. Asked why he chose to desert them, Mahato said that he could not bear to see ordinary village folk – the tribals, agricultural labourers, petty vendors etc – being tortured brutally and shot after being tied to the trees in the jungle. They were usually suspected of being police informers or being supporters of CPI (M).
The other such person, Sapan Chalok, also from the same village, recounted his story. He was also threatened with death by TMC-'Maoists' goons when they took over the village. By then all CPI (M) leaders had left the village and sensing danger to himself and his family, he approached a known TMC contact and professed to work for them. He not only participated in meetings in his village but was also taken to nearby villages to take part in activity, including to Kolsibhanga where many CPI (M) supporters and workers were killed by TMC-'Maoists'. He worked as an informer to them on the developments in the villages.
“TMC leaders used to conduct secret meetings with the 'Maoists' in the jungles. They used to torture innocent villagers until their demands were met”, said Sapan Chalok. He also cited the same reason as Mahato for leaving the 'Maoists', adding that he never went with them willingly but only to save his and his family's lives.
As part of creating terror among the villagers and ensure their frightened support, the TMC-'Maoist' goons indulged in brutal torture of CPI (M) supporters and others whom they doubted. They organised a so-called people's court in Dakhinsole village near Pirakata. This was a place with a small rocky surface on the outskirts of the village and nearby the jungle. They used to order that at least ten people from nearby twenty villages must attend the “sessions” of this court. Jaba Singh, whose father Nalin Singh was severely beaten in one such session, told us that the “accused” in these court were usually those they suspected of being police informers or those who had defied their diktats to participate in the meetings. “The kind of torture they inflicted is hard to describe in any language. One day an old man of around 70 years was beaten up by two persons in front of everyone. Some were also brutally executed in front of us while those beaten up severely had to be admitted into hospitals”, he said.
No wonder that Jaba Singh is now active with fellow villagers who are constantly on the vigil to safeguard the peace that has returned to the village through mass resistance.