Bhopal: Naxals allegedly held a 'kangaroo court' in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh where a sarpanch was asked to ensure payment of wage arrears under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
This is after a long time that Naxal activity has come to light in Balaghat district, which is close to Rajandgaon district of Chhattisgarh and Gondia of Maharashtra, both of which have rebel presence.
"Twenty Naxals including six women held an unofficial court in Pandripani jungle near Rashimetta in south Baiher on the night of 4 April," said former Lanji MLA Kishore Samrite.
The villagers complained to the Naxals that they had not received wages for work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for several months.
The Naxals told the woman sarpanch's husband to make sure that payments were made within 15 days. Otherwise the sarpanch should resign, they said.
"We have got inputs that rebels held a meeting, not a kangaroo court, on 4 April," district superintendent of police Gaurav Tiwari told PTI on Wednesday.
Naxals now a days hold such meetings for 10-15 minutes before fleeing the area, he added, while denying a report in a Hindi daily that Naxals abducted some 15 sarpanchs from south Baiher and held a kangaroo court.
As per the police's information, Naxals asked Kuwar Singh Dhurve, husband of Navhi village sarpanch Munni Bai, to ensure payment of wages for MNREGA works within 15 days, he said.
Dhurve hadn't lodged a complaint with police, the SP said, adding the police had taken a serious note of incident.
A person who accompanied Dhurve to Pathri market on 4 April told PTI that the sarpanch's husband was indeed asked by Naxals to expedite payment to labourers in 15 days or resign.
Balaghat collector Bharat Yadav also said a sarpanch had informed him about Naxals asking to ensure payment of MNREGA dues. "Problem of delay of payments under MNREGA is being faced by some other districts of MP and others states too. There is a shortage of fund. We are making efforts to clear the dues as soon as possible," Yadav said.