The government did not pay much heed to these demands and so the AMS members went ahead with implementing them on their own in the twenty five odd villages in which they had a strong base. This in effect resulted in true local self governance coming into play and the local administration was marginalised whether it was the revenue, police or forest administration. Soon the movement began spreading and this caused concern to the government and in a high level meeting it was decided to crush the organisation to re-establish the "might of the state".
So starting from March 28th 2001 a huge force of four hundred police and forest officials began attacking the villages bearing allegiance to the AMS and destroying the houses and grain and also taking people into custody. This wholly illegal use of force ultimately led to a showdown in Mehndikhera village where thousands of tribal members of the AMS both men and women amassed to protest against this unjust crackdown by the government only to be met by a hail of bullets and more arrests. A massive repressive action followed and the result was that all the main activists of the AMS were thrust into jail and the organisation crushed.
A memorial has been set up in Bisali village on the main road about four kilometers from the site of the confrontation where every year a memorial event is organised in which the tribals get together to commemorate this struggle shown in the picture below. The memorials are called gathas and are relief sculptures on stone. Apart from the four martyrs of the Mehndikhera firing there is also a gatha in the centre dedicated to the great freedom fighter Tantia Bhil who was hanged by the British after a summary trial in the late nineteenth century.
Mehndikhera also deserves to be remembered because it was a crucial turning point in the mobilisation process among the tribals in Western Madhya Pradesh. It became clear that militant anarchism would not be able to deliver an alternative given the tremendous power of the state. Instead the thrust was changed to making the most of the democratic spaces available within the liberal democratic system. Luckily the nationwide struggles succeeded in the enactment of the tribal friendly statutes mentioned above and so the democratic space has increased. Something is achievable even without militancy these days.