The brutal gunning down of former CPI(ML) activists Sarita and Mahesh Kant, associated with the NGO Institute for Research and Action, in Gaya’s Shabdo village last fortnight has spread terror in and around the 40 neighbouring villages where the two worked. Writers, activists and intellectuals like Arundhati Roy, Medha Patkar, Harsh Mander, Sandip Pandey, Jean Dreze and several others will be in Shabdo in the second week of February to stage a protest march. The killing has brought back into focus the difficulty NGOs and activists face while working in the badlands of Bihar. Says All India Progressive Women’s Association general secretary Kumudini Pati: "It’s not only difficult, it’s outright risky." The state government has decided to hand over the probe to the CBI.