Thursday, April 30, 2009

‘Naxals cashed in on lack of development’

Express News Service First Published : 30 Apr 2009 02:42:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

JEYPORE: While the post-mortem on Maoist attack on Nalco mines at Damanjodi is still on, preliminary investigation said lack of development in peripheral villages fuelled the locals’ anger against the authorities. Cashing on the local resentment, Naxals drew up the strategy and mounted attack on the mine with the help of villagers.


The Naxals had set up dozens of base camps near Panchpatimali hill before launching an attack on the bauxite mine. And they took the advantage of absence of basic amenities to build their base.

According to reports, Naxals also underwent training for three months and gathered vital information regarding the explosive depot and bauxite mine after mixing with local tribals.

The investigation shows that absence of proper communication network in nearby villages favoured the Naxals who went on giving final touches to their plan of action. The Naxal activities could not be known to outside world despite their camps being a few km from the plant area due to inaccessibility of the villages.

About 10 villages near Panchpatimali hilltop virtually turned into safe haven for Maoists of the state and neighboring states. The locals have been demanding development of peripheral areas since long through demonstrations but in vain.

The pent-up anger against the authorities further helped the Naxals to draw up their master plan. ‘‘Lack of peripheral development was a major reason rather than intelligence failure for the attack, said a senior police officer of KBK districts. Meanwhile, pressure is mounting from different quarters for instituting a high-level judicial enquiry into the mine attack case.

Even the CISF personnel working in Nalco site had took up the issue of development with CISF top brass.

Meanwhile, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Santa Sheela Nair visited Damanjodi along with senior State and Nalco officials. The secretary visited mines fire station, magazine house and Naxal attack site and reviewed the security measures with senior police and mine officials.

She lauded the brave fight by the CISF jawans and assured all possible steps to augment the safety measure in and around Nalco areas. The mines secretary would report to the central government for further course of action.

Sources said a commission of inquiry will be instituted by director, mines, Government of India, G.Srinivash, who is appointed as one-man commission to report on the situation post-attack.

Nalco CMD C.R.Pradhan, executive director P.K.Mahapatra, District Collector B.Dash, DIG Sanjeev Panda, SP Deepak Kumar accompanied the secretary.

KORAPUT: In another development, Nalco periphery villagers under the leadership of zilla parishad president Ashok Kumar Pangi and sarpanches of five panchayats demanded before the mines secretary Nair to remove Nalco CMD CR Pradhan from his post. Pangi alleged that the CMD is entirely responsible for the Naxal attack.

Pangi also said Nalco has recruited land-losers as well as displaced persons in Angul, but in case of Damanjodi only displaced persons were taken in to consideration for recruitment. Mathalput sarpanch Bijaya Muduli demanded compensation and job for a family member of Katru Huika who was allegedly killed by SOG jawans suspecting him as Naxal on April 13.

THE INSIDE STORY

* The Naxals had set up dozens of base camps near Panchpatimali hill

* They also underwent training for three months and gathered vital information regarding explosive depot and bauxite mine

* Naxal activities could not be known to outside world due to inaccessibility of the villages

* About 10 villages near Panchpatimali hilltop virtually turned into safe haven for Maoists.

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