On January 29 this year, three Maoists killed Bahadurshah Alam, the then chairman of the Bhamragad Panchayat Samiti in Gadchiroli district.
He was killed right in the centre of the village early in the morning. “Two policemen were standing at the tea stall in front of which the incident took place. Three Maoists came with AK47s and fired at Bahadurshah,” said an eyewitness.
Bhamragad police station, where more than 250 State police and CRPF personnel are stationed, is hardly a kilometre away from the place of the incident. “Still, the ultras came freely without any vehicle and returned without any hurdle, shouting slogans,” said another eyewitness.
Around 50 people watched the murder of the “politically very active” Bahadurshah Alam of Bhamragad.
But Bahadurshah’s widow, Shevanta Alam, still isn’t sure why her husband was killed. “I don’t have any idea why they killed my husband,” says Shevanta, who is left with an 18-year-old son and a daughter. “My husband was a very active political worker in the village. He used to help everyone to solve their problems,” she added.
“Yes, he was politically very active, and used to come to us with all the complaints of the villagers,” said Sagar, SDPO of Bhamragad.
Asked if Bahadurshah received any threat, Shevanta said: “One month before he was killed, approximately 13-15 people came to meet him at around midnight. They didn’t have weapons, but five of them forcibly entered my house and asked for my husband, who was sleeping.”
“I tried to stop them, but they didn’t listen. I called up our neighbours. Following this, they went away. That was the first time that I thought my husband was in trouble, but he never told me anything.”
According to villagers, Bahadurshah Alam was killed because he attended a function of Salwa Judum last year in Bhamragad. Shevanta says this might be a reason, but she still isn’t sure. She suspects that the elections at that time could be one of the reasons, because he was going to file his nomination on that day.
According to sources, Bahadurshah was killed, not because he attended a function of Salwa Judum in Bhamragad.
“He was killed because he went to Chhattisgarh and brought the people involved in Salwa Judum to Bhamragad, and then shared the stage with them. All this was a big challenge to Maoists, so this was going to happen.”
“Political activities have become non-existent in Bhamragad after Bahadurshah’s death. Now no one has the guts to get involved in active politics,” says Shabbir Beg, former Sarpanch of Bhamragad.
Shevanta was given Rs. 1 lakh by the local MP and Rs. 2 lakh was donated by some journalists, but no government official cared to visit her and ‘Bahadurshah Alam’s murder case file is now closed,’ with his culprits still at large.
‘My husband was an active political worker in the village. He used to help everyone solve problems’ ‘Political activities have become non-existent in Bhamragad after Bahadurshah’s death’
‘My husband was an active political worker in the village. He used to help everyone solve problems’
‘Political activities have become non-existent in Bhamragad after Bahadurshah’s death’