Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tribals in Orissa revolt against Maoists, join hands with police

Subhashish Mohanty / DNA Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:39 IST

Bhubaneshwar: Tribals in Sundargarh district of north western Orissa, about 400km from here, are in a mood to defy Maoists.

The police have taken advantage of this sentiment and have started running a combing operation against the Maoists for the past three days. Around 600 villagers, with their bows, arrows, axes and shovels, are keeping them company.

In this short time, the villagers of Langalkata, Mahupada, Tarbeda, Sanbalijor under the K Balanga police station have helped the police seize a large cache of arms and ammunition. This included landmines, bundles of gelatin wires, hand grenades and other explosives.

Last Thursday, the tribals started fleeing their villages after the Maoists issued a threat. For nearly four days, they continued to live on the national highway under the watch of police. During this time, the police motivated them to rebel against the Maoists who were either using them as informers or inducting them into their cadre. Getting police assurance, people have lent their support to the force.

"People have realised they need development and it is the administration, not the Maoists who can help them," said Rourkela superintendent of police Diptesh Patnaik, who goaded the tribals to rebel against Maoists. The anti-Maoist operation would continue, Patnaik said.

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