Gumla (Jharkhand), Ap 1 : For centuries, the place where today's Gulma district of Jharkhand exists, was a rendezvous for people from the hinterland who converged here to exchange goods under the barter system.
The place was then known as Gaw-Mela in which the "Gaw" stood for cows and the cattle and "Mela" for fair. But today, it is a tribal-dominated Gumla district and spread over an area of 5,327 square kilometers.
Having a populace of about 700,000, the place attracts attention, as almost every family here survives on traditional means of livelihood like agriculture. But the locals are affected by Naxalites.
As, it happened recently when the Naxalites attacked the villagers in Semra-Bhandratoli area and killed nine individuals, which included a child and three women. The deceased are reported to be members of a local peace group, the Shanti Sena, whose chief Bhado Singh was also killed.
"I saw people crying and wailing. I asked them what was the matter. They told me that Naxalites had killed Bhado Singh and other people. The Naxalites also set on fire the vehicle of the victims with their dead bodies," said one villager.
Shanti Sena is determined to continue its work and help people of the area see a ray of hope in Shanti Sena.
They live with the hope that the Naxalite, who profess to be ighting for villagers' rights, will give up violence.