The killing of a tribal legislator Ragyah Naik is turning out to be the biggest political blunder and embarrassment of massive proportions for the outlawed Peoples War Group (PWG).
Ragyah Naik was perceived by all quarters as an honest political worker who rose from the grass roots to serve the tribal and his death has evoked tremendous condemnation and revulsion from all quarters. Naik, Lambada legislator from Devarkonda in Nalgonda district was shot dead by PWG Naxalites in Maddimudugula village of Mehboobnagar district on December 29.
The wave of anger and dismay has been tremendous against the senseless killing by the outlawed PWG. Following this incident, the Naxal organisation has been deprived of all the sympathy that it might have been enjoying among the tribals and other down trodden sections of Telangana region. In a clear indication that the PWG has been pushed on the defensive, the Mehboobnagar district secretary of the underground outfit has apologised and said that a terrible mistake has been committed by the PWG. It has been a terrible mistake and the killing of Mr Naik is a result of mistaken identity. “We apologise to people for this mistake,” district secretary, Santosh said. “Our target was someone else but Mr Naik became the victim. We regret it,” he added. The fact that Naik was one of the few tribal leaders in the State and had not blot on his image but he still fell to the bullets of naxalites has come as a shattering blow to the people, specially the tribals.
What wrong had he done to be killed? Is the question which is being bombarded at the PWG even from those quarters which were earlier seen as sympathetic towards the left wing extremist movement.
The apology of the PWG has been rejected as meaningless by Ms Bharti Nayak, the wife of the legislator who was the eye-witness to his gunning down in a remote village of Mehboobnagar district last week. “Will the apology return the life of my innocent husband. Is this the way Naxalites wants to solve problems of the poor?” She asked.
“We are ready to go to any place where the Naxalite summon me and my family. They can kill all of us and then tender an apology,” Bharti added.
The timing of this action has been disastrous for the PWG. Apart from robbing the Naxalites of any sympathy from the public, it has also poured cold water on the serious efforts which the Opposition Congress was making to force the Government to start dialogue with PWG.
A few days before the Congress legislator was killed, the State Congress president M Satyanarayana Rao had convened a meeting of all political parties to discuss the issue of Naxalite violence and wrote a letter to the Chief Minister urging him to initiate talks with the PWG. This pressure from Congress as well as other quarters had forced the Government’s relent from its uncompromising stand and the State Home Minister T Devender Goud announced that Government will convene an all party meeting to discuss the idea of talks with PWG. But two days later Ragiah Naik was shot down and that has created a situation in which Congress is finding it difficult to press the idea of talks with PWG.
This is not the first time that the trigger happy Naxalites of PWG have committed a blunder of targeting innocent people. In one of the most heinous crime against the citizens, the Naxalites had set fire to a bogey of Secunderabad-Warangal Bhagyanagar Express in 1990 in which scores of passengers were killed.
Though it later apologised, the PWG continued with its policy of reckless violence and in the spree of derailing the trains in 1991-92, it caused several casualties. The killing of the people in the village in suspicion of being police informers, has also turned many sympathisers in to opponents of PWG in Telangana.