Raje and Birija, the septuagenarian parents of the slain Naxalite commander
Rajita Usendi. Credit: Javed Iqbal
They knew I was not a journalist from the jungle but an outsider, a journalist from Mumbai. Not even in a thousand conversations would they reveal to me the secrets of Rajita. What they told me was what they had decided the world could know about a child who joined the party, became a leader and was finally burnt to death in a village not far from theirs. For instance, they would not tell me whether Rajita was involved in the May 21, 2009, ambush in the nearby Dhanora forests that claimed the lives of 16 security personnel, including five policewomen. Or whether she was involved in the deadly May 5, 2011, improvised explosive device blast that killed five civilians on the Dhanora-Rajnandgaon road. Even if they knew, it was clear that they were not going to tell me these things.
Report of Fact Finding Team of Editors Guild of India on attacks on media in Bastar (Chhattisgarh)
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