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Former dacoits — who once ruled Chambal — gather in Jaipur to protect vanishing Chambal forests

Discussion in 'Internal Affairs' started by InfoWarrior, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    On the eve of International Day of Forests on Sunday, erstwhile bandits who ruled Chambal gathered in Jaipur to reminisce, and to tell the government that they wish to protect their land, as, they all said, people back home still respect their word.
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    Written by Hamza Khan | Jaipur | Updated: March 21, 2016 4:49 pm
    [​IMG] The former bandits in Jaipur on Sunday. (Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras)
    They once ruled the Chambal ravines in all their bandit glory, but now they fear the land they dearly love is slowly dying. They are concerned over the reduced jungle cover, amid reports of the government wanting to flatten the ravines to turn them into farmlands.

    On the eve of International Day of Forests on Sunday, erstwhile bandits who ruled Chambal — Seema Parihar, Balwant Singh Tomar, Renu Yadav, Pancham Singh, Munna Singh Mirdha, even a Gabbar Singh, and over a dozen lesser known dacoits — gathered in Jaipur to reminisce, and to tell the government that they wish to protect their land, as, they all said, people back home still respect their word.

    “When we were farar (wanted), not a single leaf used to move without our permission,” said former dacoit Balwant Singh Tomar, nephew of the more famous Paan Singh Tomar. “Nobody tried to encroach on the land or cut trees. But today, there is no forest. Chambal is our mother. If government wants, it can allot regions to each of us to protect. We promise, not a leaf will be removed, like it used to be before,” Tomar said, before limping back to his chair with the help of a stick.

    Dacoit-turned-sanyasi Pancham Singh recounted how he had burnt one of his men alive for “misbehaving” with a woman, to imply a sense of morality among dacoits, something he said lacks today which is affecting Chambal. “I have witnessed daku-satta, raj-satta and now dharm-satta (dacoit-rule, government-rule and now religion-based rule). Dacoits were united, and being united means you can move mountains and end corruption. Dacoits weren’t corrupt like people today are,” he said. Singh, meanwhile, is said to be responsible for over a 100 killings, but that was long ago.”

    “I had surrendered in 1972 with 550 men and even today, around 200 are alive. If government wants, we can stop the cutting down of trees. I cannot take responsibility of the entire nation. The government should just demarcate the boundary and permit us,” he said, before cutting into a reflection: “We used to rule 25 districts, we decided MLAs in three days, and sarpanch in two days.”

    Former dacoit Renu Yadav, who was freed in 2012 after spending “7 years, 3 months and 15 days in prison”, urged all to plant trees and extended her support to the campaign. State general secretary of Gau Raksha Dal, Yadav had last been in news around 2014 Lok Sabha for her proximity to Samajwadi Party leaders. At 28, she was the youngest former dacoit present Sunday, while most others are of ripe old age.”

    “It is possible that even farmers do not know about forests, as much as we, the former dacoits, know about them. Because, in our lives as dacoits, we only had the shade of a tree. We didn’t have a proper roof over us then. Be it summers or winters, it was our house,” said former bandit Seema Parihar. “Forests used to be so green and dense, our heart never wanted to leave, and we were surrounded by animals and plants. But Chambal forests are not even two per cent of what they were a few decades ago,” she said. “The government makes huge promises. But has their huge apparatus prevented cutting down trees in Chambal? I would request them to give us responsibilities and we promise to show results in six months,” she said.

    “Please forgive my sins,” declared a real former dacoit, Gabbar Singh – who shares name with the fictional character from Sholay – with folded hands. “It was said I cut arms of people or made women dance, I have never done such a thing,” he said sincerely. “Under the watch of certain politicians, trees are being cut rampantly and illegal (sand) mining is being carried out. This has to stop.”

    The former dacoits were brought together by RSS swayamsewak Vishnu Lamba, who runs an organisation Shree Kalptaru Sansthan. Lamba said that the Sunday event had been nearly a year in the making.

    Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra, also present on the occasion, said that he will communicate their wishes to the Chief Minister as well as the Prime Minister. “The emotions of the former dacoits should be respected and I believe each of them should be allotted some responsibility towards conservation of forests,” he said.

    Rajasthan’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests S S Chaudhary said that the state will formally hold discussions with the former dacoits but said any real result requires the involvement of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, as Chambal region falls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.”

    “The governments initiated several steps, such as ravine reclamation project in 1988, aerial seeding in 1985, but the results were poor. Now maybe something can surely be worked out by the three states, along the lines of tri-state National Chambal Sanctuary for conservation of gharials,” he said, pointing out fears of dacoits about Chambal ravines being flattened by the government. Last year, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had reportedly placed a proposal before the Union government to turn them into farmlands.
    http://indianexpress.com/article/in...ather-in-jaipur-to-protect-vanishing-forests/
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
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  2. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Chambal: How dacoits saved the valley!
    Chambal valley, once known for its allegiance to the dacoits, is an unexplored territory if one skips the superficial scenes from the Hindi film industry.
    By: FE Online | Published: September 12, 2016 12:11 PM
    [​IMG]Chambal valley, once known for its allegiance to the dacoits, is an unexplored territory if one skips the superficial scenes from the Hindi film industry. The region, infamously known as the land of dacoits at the convergence of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. At an 80km drive from Agra, the land is full of deep ravines and forests, which have been the home to generations of outlaws for decades. The region is the world’s largest breeding ground of the Long Billed vultures, the most “efficient” scavenging bird among all its peers. Chambal valley also provides housing to the once endangered Gharial( a rare crocodile species).

    It is also home to the Gangetic Dolphin, Marsh Crocodiles (muggers), eight species of Turtles, Indian Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals among other creatures. The Chambal river is also considered to be the cleanest river in India. Ironically, it is a tributary of the River Yamuna, that flows through Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The water is so clear that it mirrors the blueness of the sky and is coupled with intertwining mud cliffs, giving a much desired scenic view.

    The region has not been touched by industry and thus has remained to be one of the last few practises in the country. It is hard to believe but one of the major reasons the valley still maintains its scenic glory and remains untainted by the cities is because of the horrors attached to the land. Poachers were never attracted to the area, due to the fear of being killed or worse. The fear of dacoits never let any industrial establishment set up in the area, thus saving the valley from the terrors of man. The Chambal river lives under the superstition of being cursed by the hands of those killed by the early Aryan rulers. It is all very difficult to contemplate, but a few evils and terrors of mankind saved the valley from being tainted by others.
    http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/chambal-how-dacoits-saved-the-valley/374180/
     
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  3. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The curse of Chambal
    Chambal has been cleansed of its famous — and feared — dacoits. But a new mafia reigns and its gun culture continues. Debaashish Bhattacharya on why lawlessness continues to dog the region
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    GUNS AND MEN: (From top) Pradip Singh Tomar, Charan Singh Sikarwar and Mohar Singh. Pictures by Debaashish Bhattacharya
    Age has mellowed him somewhat and he now walks with a cane. But his penetrating eyes still reflect the wilds of Chambal that he once ruled.

    “When I spoke, everyone fell silent,” says Daku Mohar Singh. “They still do,” adds the 73-year-old former brigand, twirling his handlebar moustache. He had more than 60 cases of murder, robbery and kidnapping against him when he turned himself over in 1972, ending a life of crime that lasted 16 years.

    But today Mohar Singh, who spends his days farming his land, is a symbol of a bygone era. Chambal — whose dacoits were romanticised in films such as Sholay, Bandit Queen and Pan Singh Tomar, which won its lead actor Irrfan Khan a national award last month — has long bid goodbye to its band of outlaws. Over the years, over 500 dacoits have been killed in police encounters, while scores of others have surrendered to the police.

    “No organised gangs of dacoits operate here any longer,” says inspector-general of police (Chambal range) S.M. Afzal. “They have either surrendered or have been eliminated.”

    It took Chambal — consisting of the Morena, Bhind and Sheopur districts of Madhya Pradesh — nearly 40 years to cleanse itself of its home-grown marauders. The last major police encounter — in which nine bandits including Jagjivan Parihar with a bounty of Rs 9 lakh on his head were killed — took place in Morena district in March 2007.

    Yet, peace has not returned to Chambal. The dacoits are gone, but the guns are still to be silenced.

    A widely prevalent “gun culture” has added to Chambal’s continuing lawlessness. Bhind has 29,800 licenced guns, while Morena has 27,626 guns, mostly 12-bore or 315-bore rifles. No one knows for sure how many illegal guns Chambal has.

    “You have to have a gun in Chambal. Or people think you are weak,” says farmer Pradip Singh Tomar of Hingotiyai village in Morena, cradling a rifle. The family fires the gun, usually in the air, on occasions such as Holi and Diwali.

    But the real problem is not of festival firings or village-level skirmishes. Guns in the hands of the new terror of Chambal, the sand and stone mafia, are an issue the police are grappling with.

    If dacoits earlier moved around the ravines and jungles of Chambal on foot (dacoits on horseback only happened in Hindi films, says Bhind CID inspector Bhawar Singh Jadon), the region’s neo-dacoits have their own ways. The gangsters tear around in their spanking new SUVs, using tractors that are ubiquitous on Chambal roads to cart away sand and stones with impunity.

    Last year on Holi, when a young IPS officer, Narendra Kumar, tried to stop a loaded tractor, he was crushed to death in Morena’s Banmore.

    Chambal is rich in sand and sandstones and with construction booming in nearby cities like Gwalior, these are in high demand. Officials say the state government auctioned the sand and stones until a court order banned the sale in the mid-1990s to protect the wildlife in the Chambal national sanctuary.

    “It’s a serious problem. We are trying to crack down on it, but it’s difficult,” IGP Afzal says, acknowledging that those involved enjoy political patronage. Last month, when police seized two tractor-loads of sand at Saraichola in Morena, it led to a full-scale attack on the police.

    “Scores of people armed with guns managed to take away the five men we’d nabbed, along with one of the two seized tractors. They fired on us and torched a number of government and private vehicles,” says inspector B.K. Parasar of Saraichola police station.

    Clearly, as one chapter of dacoits has ended, another has opened up. It will be a while before the new marauders make it to Chambal’s famous 50-page police album of slain dacoits. The album — with 182 black-and-white photos of the bullet-riddled bodies — features the pantheon of outlaws — from bandit queen Putli Bai (killed in 1958) to king Man Singh, who murdered 185 people and was killed in 1955. The album, says Charan Singh Sikarwar — Channa Daku to locals — was why he finally surrendered after living in the wilds for seven years.

    The former sarpanch of Bamora village in Bhind district killed a man after he implicated him in an arson case in 2005. He took to the ravines of Chambal and became a dacoit, committing several robberies. He finally surrendered in April last year after being persuaded by his wife Sunita. “She wanted me to stay alive,” he says. That, and the thought of becoming another picture in the album, convinced him to surrender, he says.

    In a bid to curb the lawlessness of Chambal, efforts are on to curb the use of guns — once encouraged by the state government so that villagers could take on the dacoits. In recent years, authorities have been issuing fewer licences. “We hardly issue five licences a year now and that too after much verification and enquiries,” says inspector Shiyaram Gupta, in charge of the gun licence section in the Morena district police headquarters.

    Police officers, however, admit that guns on the other side of the divide did their bit in wiping out dacoits. “The menace ended because we killed them ruthlessly,” says Bhind city superintendent of police K.D. Sonakiya, who has killed more than 40 bandits, including Parihar. “Those afraid of dying in police encounters have surrendered.”

    As part of surrender deals with the authorities, none of the former gang leaders has been hanged. Police say many of the surrendered dacoits have money, earned during their days in the ravines mainly from ransom, which they stashed away in safe places so they could use them later.

    So Channa Daku survives on his 20 bighas of land in Bhind district, which he gets farmed. He plans to buy a plot of land in Morena soon and build a house.

    Mohar Singh also farms, taking care of his 125 bighas in Mehgaon in Bhind district. He was elected “unopposed” to the Mehgaon municipality for two terms in the mid-1990s — the first time as commissioner and in the second term as chairman.

    Barely 20 when he murdered a man in a fit of rage over a disputed piece of land, Mohar Singh took to the ravines in the early Sixties. He became a bagi, or rebel, as dacoits called themselves to emphasise their fight against the oppression of higher castes in caste-ridden Chambal society. He spent eight years in jail after he surrendered in 1972.

    Sikarwar’s trial is expected to start soon. But the man with bloodshot eyes and a chilling gaze is not thinking of it; his attention is focused on the wedding of his two daughters, aged 20 and 22. The date has been fixed for May 21.

    “I want to be a good father and see them married before I go off to jail,” he says.

    Bandit Kings and Queens

    The Dong-Batri (brothers) were the chief marauders of Chambal in the 1930s
    Sultan Singh and Putli Bai unleashed a reign of terror in the 1940s

    Man Singh led the biggest gang of bandits in Chambal. He fell to police bullets in 1955.

    Phoolan Devi became famous in 1981 after she shot dead 20 men in the village of Behmai in Uttar Pradesh to avenge the murder of her lover.

    Malkhan Singh, another notorious bandit who had more than 100 cases of murder and dacoity against him, used a letterhead printed with his name to demand ransom. When he surrendered in Bhind in 1982, he had earned lakhs from ransom.

    Surrender Story

    In the early 1960s, the first surrender of dacoits was organised by Gandhian Acharya Vinoba Bhave.

    The second round of mass surrender of dacoits was organised by late socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan at Morena in 1972, in which leaders like Mohar Singh laid down their arms.

    https://www.telegraphindia.com/1130407/jsp/7days/story_16756788.jsp
     
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  4. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  5. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild IDF NewBie

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    As someone who have lived in Etawah for 10 years.All I want to say to these reformed dacoits is-
    F**** off!
     
  6. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  7. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    When foreign armies invaded fertile plains of UP, many Hindu warrior clans hid in the forested mountainous areas like Chambal. Natural refuge provided by mother India, which helped in preserving our culture. Many of these clans have forgot their purpose and ended up as dacoits.

    Since Etawah is close to Chambal core, Etawah has 92% Hindu population. Same cannot be said for Rohilakhand and Awadh region.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  8. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  9. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Garhi Padahwali - fortress temple.


    Padawali is very close to Mitawali and can be visited comfortably with Mitawali. Area around Mitawali is devoid of any habitation however the region around Padhavali is populated with a number of villages. This is in stark contrast with Mitawali, despite the fact that these two places are separated by only 3 Kms.
    Find out yourself, a grand welcome by none other than the mighty :LIONS: on moving closer to the main structure


    [​IMG]

    At the top of stairs we found ourselves inside an ancient "Vishnu temple" with numerous delicately carved sculptures of:
    • Ram Leela
    • Krishna Leela (butter churning gopika, Krishna fighting the bull Kesi), Mahabharata ,
    • The ten (10) incarnations of God Vishnu, Samudra Manthan, Vishnu holding a conch, chakra, Gada (club) and a Padma (lotus) in his four hands and Vishnu resting on Garuda.
    • Marriage of Lord Ganesha
    • Lord Shiva dancing in the cemetery in Preta (Ghost) form, Siva flanked by four-headed Brahma and
    Hundreds of other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Roof of the temple, pillars and walls are covered with the eye catching statuette of GODS and GODDESS. In a nutshell enjoy the panorama of Hindu religion here: Zoom in on the below pictures to see more intricate details of the carvings:

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    According to studies, the beautiful temple is the superior of the renowned temple of Khajuraho where statues are built inside whereas in Padawali the statues were built outside the temple. All the carvings on wall, pillars are inside the temple. Like Khajuraho, this temple too, has withstood the test of time.

    Though the temple is small in size, but the charm is much bigger than the appearance.
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    As per the transcript by Archeological Survey of India and related studies this temple was built around 10th Century AD. Long time for any monument/ structure to remain intact, forget about retaining the pristine glory.
    [​IMG]
    The terrace, courtyard and the assembly hall of this temple are present a true essence of ancient Indian culture. The details of the carvings inside the temple look so novel that as if this temple has been constructed recently.

    Thanks to the good work by Archaeological Survey of India, temple has been restored to its past glory. The Jat Ranas of Dhaulpur in the first half of the 18th century built the adjoining fortress which is known as "Garhi Padhavali". In local languages Garhi is known as a "Small Fortress". This area is known as Padawali because it is surrounded by several hills.
    Small Fortress...??? If you have missed out the details in the first picture. Lets check again:
    [​IMG]
    Structure of a fort is clearly visible adjoining the temple premises. Lets go back to the temple courtyard and continue exploring the fortress Padhavali:
    [​IMG]

    The cells visible above must have been once a centre of buzzing military activities, now sports a deafening silence.
    [​IMG]

    The cells and rooms in the above portion are no more accessible to general public; the witness to umpteen accounts of history can be viewed from a distance only.

    [​IMG]
    While walking around we came across this wall. Arrangement of different stones in one of the wall is strange as well thought arousing. Check closely the stones are just kept one above the other and are not even plastered or fixed. Generally walls meant for forts are constructed out of homogenous stones for strength. Some of the stones have carvings on them and does not look like they were ever meant to be placed in this wall. Looks like these stones might have been once a part of some statues or temple or palace, which got ruined over the time; thanks to some restoration work are now a part of this wall. Else they would have lost forever, maybe some of the deep buried facts are still waiting to emerge out.

    Go to the top and have a pigeon eye view of the fortress as well as the nearby region or better lack of it.
    [​IMG]

    Which might have been once a flourishing land/ city now is a pale shadow of its Glory. This region has remained secluded for better parts of history, as a result very little information is available about the actual time frame of this temple.

    According to the studies after the Naga period, the Gupta empire was established in this area. Around this region there are the ruins of several temples, houses and colonies. As told by locales more than 300 monuments of different kinds can be seen at Padawali up to the valley of Batesar.
     
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  10. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    Dacoits hid here? ;)

    Suggest open a dedicated thread separately for this. You can post such informative articles as per topic/genre.
     
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  11. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  12. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    When ASI asked Help from RSS Chief to save temples from mining mafia.
    The temple guardian
    The mining work, going on in the surrounding area was, and still is, causing great harm to this priceless piece of heritage. He shot off letters to the concerned agencies but nothing moved. And then he wrote to then RSS Chief, K. S. Sudershan and “Within 24 hours, things started to happen. I always realised that Government officials have limitations but I kept on working despite those. Writing to Sudershan ji went against me and there was talk of initiating some kind of action against me but finally, we could move ahead with the work,” recalls Muhammed who worked at the site from 2004 to 2008.

    http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/the-temple-guardian/article4397093.ece
     
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