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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Police Help in Lifting Social Boycott of Tribal Families

MALDA, 10 JULY: Police had to intervene to lift social boycott imposed on three tribal families in Gazole. Those family members  did not change their religion or their faith on Marangburu, the tribal deity. All they did was to take refuge to a guru who advised them to perform some rituals. But this was enough for their neighbours to suspect their motif and boycott them socially. Asked by the village heads none used to talk to them, did not allow them to use the community source of water or shopping in the same grocery. The boycotted families found it too much to bear and approached finally to police.

The families of Lakshman Soren, Barko Mardi and Sushil Hembram were living as neighbours in the tribal village Bahuttor under Gazole Police Station. Of late the family members were suffering from various ailments. No treatment could yield any result and ailment never left any of the families. Then on the suggestion of an elderly man, all of them rushed to village Mundmala of Bihar to see a jaanguru(soothsayer). He suggested converting themselves to Marangburu Bindin, a religious practice which needed some rituals.

50 year old Lakshman Soren said, “Our guru suggested that all of us had to wear green attire. The women should wear sari with green linen, men use the green towel. This would cure us of all ailment. He never spoke anything against great Marangburu.” Barko said, “Along with it we were asked to use a green flag on the top of our houses.” But the last one was all that created sensation.

Sushil Hembram said, “When our morol (village head) Raishil Mardi saw the flag on our house, he came to know about it. We informed him everything but he was not satisfied. Instead he accused us of practicing witchcraft.” Later a kangaroo court was held in the village to ensure social boycott to these families. “Even the children of our houses were not allowed to play with their friends in the field”, said Shibu Soren, son of Lakshman.

Raishil conceded of this boycott. “These families often used to go out of the village hiring a car and returning home used green flag on their houses. We became suspicious as they could not explain their works.”

The families on the other hand found this boycott unbearable and approached to police. Finally yesterday police from Gazole Police Station sat with the two groups and settled the dispute. The boycott was lifted. “Both of them assured in writing that they would abide by their own religious practices and would not interfere into others”, said a police official.

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