ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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POLITICS-Other Side of the Story

state, Subhash Yadav, whose legislative constituency, Kasarvad, falls in Khargone district. Setupin 1992,the AMS began its activities by raising its voice against extortionist practices in the cotton market at Sendhwa, whose principal victims were the tribal labourers. Consistently taking up campaigns on issues affecting tribal interests, the AMS spread in 500 villages of three blocks in Khargone district, exposing and challenging the exploitative and despotic rule of government officials and commercial interests. Last year when the AMS activists caught red-handed the timber mafia and paralysed the liquor business, it became imperative for Subhash Yadav to intervene on the latter's behalf and float a rival tribal outfit, Adivasi Samaj Sudhar Shanti Sena, to effectively counter the growing influence of the AMS. The Shanti Sena unleashed a campaign of abduction, rape and murder of AMS activists and their relatives in order to browbeat the organisation into submission. The murder of Jhagadiya Patel, a liquor trader and the Bhagwanpura block Congress president, on August 26 for leading a gang rape of the wife of Kaliabhai, an AMS activist from Julwania, was the signal for the latest full-scale offensive of the so-called Shanti Sena with the help of the local police against the AMS. Tribals of Kabri, Julwania, Bhulwania, Chaukhand, Ambakheda and other villages have fled to nearby forests abandoning their cattle and standing crops. The police have taken over these villages, Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Khandwa district, the police opened fire in Mandav village in Nepanagar block on protesting adivasis who were evicted from their forest plots for refusing to pay bribes to forest officials, In this reign of terror, the police in collusion with the Shanti Sena has involved the leadership of the AMS in false cases of extortion with the objective of liquidating the organisation. Kaliabhai, the alleged murderer of Jhagadiya Patel, was chopped to pieces in Dhulkot village allegedly by armed thugs of the Shanti Sena when Kalia was supposedly being taken in police custody from Kabri to Bhagwanpura. The police has filed an FIR against 81 AMS activists for Patel's murder, giving themselves a free hand to pick up any 'suspected' tribal They have also been harassing tribals to stand as false witnesses against AMS activists.

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