Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Security withdrawn from camps

Express News Service

First Published : 23 Dec 2009 05:04:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 23 Dec 2009 09:20:02 AM IST

ROURKELA: In a mass exodus panic-stricken tribals from the border villages in Naxal-infested Bonai sub-division moved to the safe zone in K Balang after the security forces were withdrawn from B Jharbera and Mahupada temporary camps this evening.

Fearing the wrath of Naxals and seeking protection, after they dared to support police in lieu of their own safety on December 10, over 1,000 tribals settled down on NH-215 today.

The villagers are caught between the devil and deep sea with the vulnerable villages under K Balang and Banki police stations scattered in hostile forest terrains close to Maoist hotbed of Jharkhand. The areas are virtually inaccessible due to poor road communication.

Amid growing Maoist violence, not sparing poor tribals, they were left with no option but to support the police. The situation is fluid as the Maoists are understood to be seething in rage for the `revolt’ from villagers. Well-placed officials said security cannot be extended to these areas permanently and it is a challenge before the Sundargarh district administration to sort out the new-found crisis.

Rourkela SP Diptesh Patnaik said the situation arose out of multiple problems and police are exploring ways to work out a feasible strategy to address the situation.

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