FROM THE BATTLE ZONE
It’s mostly the primary and secondary school teachers who face the ire of the police or Maoists as these schools are located in remote or dense forest areas. If they travel from cities to these remote locations the Maoists think they work as police informers and, on the other hand, “the police think that we work with the Maoists because we manage to go to the interior areas without being harmed,” says a teacher from Jagargunda near Dantewada in Chhattisgarh.
Two months ago, he was accosted by four armed Maoists while he was on his way to school. “My school is about a few kms from Jagargunda. Even the police are apprehensive of coming in here.
I cycle to school every day. That day I was about to reach the school when these people came to me and asked if I inform the police about their movements. I pleaded innocence. They let me go on the condition that if I am suspected doing any such thing in the future, I will not return to my city alive,” he recounts. “There are times when Naxal groups pass by school and through mere coincidence the police arrive minutes later searching for them. The Naxals think that we have informed the police about their movements,” he adds.
College and university professors say that they do not have to face such threats as the institutes of higher learning are located mainly in the cities which are much safer than the villages. Despite that, however, life is not that easy. “Students try to scare us, telling us that they have links with the Maoists if we don’t allow them to cheat in the examinations. A student had threatened me of dire consequences because I had stopped him from copying answers during an exam,” says a professor from a college in Dantewada.