Thursday, June 18, 2009

Naxals spreading tentacles in Sambalpur

Express News Service

First Published : 18 Jun 2009 04:24:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

SAMBALPUR: To tackle Naxals, the State Government has been banking on two-pronged strategy in the Naxal-infested areas - to carry out development activities in order to improve the socio-economic condition of people and strengthen policing. But the strategies remain on paper with the district administration failing to back police’s efforts in containing Naxal-related violence.


A visit to Naxal-prone villages like Sarada under Jamakira police station, Gariakhaman under Kisinda police station, Sitlenpali under Dhama police station exposes the condition of villagers who have no contact with the mainstream society, making them easy prey for Naxals. None of these villages has electricity, road connectivity and drinking water. In Gariakhaman village, inhabitants are forced to consume water from a nullah running in the village. Even after the killing of three persons in Burda village and five in Meghpal in 2005 by the Naxals, the road connecting Jujomura with Burda and Meghpal hardly exists. The then SP Devdutta Singh had written to the then district collector in May 2007 demanding construction of 75-km road in the Naxal-infested Naktideul, Jamakira and Jamankira blocks under the PMGSY scheme. Not just road connectivity but composite solar lights, community halls and borewells were also sought by the Police Department for the affected villages. While the list of demands has increased over the years, no work has been done so far. More recently, the Police Department has written a letter to the Government demanding anti-landmine vehicles, buses, pick-up vans, bullet-proof vehicles, power boats for mobilisation of police force in inaccessible areas. And with the State Government and district administration being ‘insensitive’ towards the demands of the police, curbing Naxal menace seems unlikely.

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