Dantewada, May 9: Fact or fiction- is the issue behind the so called hostage crisis in Chattisgarh which took place ahead of the Prime Minister's visit to the state. Since morning staggering numbers of the people alleged to have been taken hostage by the naxals have been making rounds.
With what started off as 200 at 9.30 am, by 11.30 it had shot up to 500. For starters naxals do not have the capacity to hold such a large number of people hostage and it is the PR wing of the naxals which has been working overtime in an attempt to gain some cheap publicity.
Two officers of the region confirmed that the so-called hostage crisis was a work of fiction. The Inspector General of Police of the Bastar Range, R P Kalluri said that there is no hostage crisis and this is just fiction.
What really happened
There is no doubt that there are a large number of villagers who are engaging in talks with the naxals. It is a routine affair in the area when naxals abduct the villagers and the rest of them go to broker peace.
The trigger was however not the Prime Minister's visit to the area although the naxals would love to quote that as a reason. The entire issue began when the villagers had openly supported the construction of the bridge at Tongpal in Sukma district.
While the villagers had supported the construction of the bridge viewing as development, the naxals for reasons known best to them were up in arms against the villagers for supporting the construction.
This led to the naxals abducting six villagers and then a warning was sent to the villagers. The abduction of the six villagers was a message to the rest of the folk not to support the construction of the bridge.
It all started yesterday
Acording to the IGP, Kalluri, the entire hostage crisis as being reported in the media is a work of fiction. Last night some naxals came to the village and took six labours hostage.
These persons taken hostage were the ones working on the bridge which is under construction. Several villagers (not 500) had gone to meet with the naxals and broker peace with them in a bid to secure the release of the six construction workers, the IGP also added.
Police officials say that there has been an ongoing tussle between the villagers and the naxals over this issue. The naxals feel that the construction of the bridge is wrong and none of the villagers should support it.
The villagers on the other hand say that this is developmental work and hence none should try and stop it. If the villagers support developmental work in such large numbers, the naxals lose their backbone.
They are known to have chosen innocent villagers to do their dirty work which ranges from human shields, logistics and acting as informers. The entire hostage crisis appears to be a work of fiction, an officer also adds.