Friday, June 05, 2009

Naxal menace: Is there a way out?

Express News Service

First Published : 05 Jun 2009 04:01:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 05 Jun 2009 10:48:49 AM IST

MALKANGIR: The alarming regularity of Maoist attacks in the district has panicked the inhabitants and put the administration in a spot of bother.

The district, which was once a hideout for the Left-wing extremists, has turned into a Maoist hotbed over the years. ‘’We are living amidst fear and uncertainty,’’ said an elected people’s representative of Chitrakonda. ‘’We have been suffering, sandwiched between the Maoists and the police,’’ he said.

The Maoists set ablaze five vehicles of the Chitrakonda-based ESSAR company near Ralegada area under Chitrakonda police limits last afternoon. Prior to that Maoists gunned down Chitrakonda-based contractor Badrinarayan Patra in broad daylight. The frequent attacks by Maoists prove Government’s failure to contain the Left-wing menace, he said.

‘’We are quite helpless and have been totally left at the mercy of the Maoists,’’ said a trader of Malkangiri town. An atmosphere of terror is gripping the entire district and signs of Maoist fear are writ large on the faces of the residents, he said.

A police officer of South-Western range admitted that the Maoists had already established full control over the district and partly over Koraput district. The situation in Malkangiri is deteriorating very fast because of the poor response of the State Government to the Maoist menace, the police officer said.

The Government should either initiate dialogue with the Left-wing extremists or deploy additional forces to contain the menace, he remarked. There is virtually a war-like situation in the district and the government must react to the issue in a strategic manner failing which a Nepal-like situation is bound to arise here, he remarked.

One of the reasons for the spread of Maoist network in the district is the lack of political will among the powers-that-be. All the political parties have become redundant in the affected districts thanks to Maoist intimidation and their violent activities, he said.

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