Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Villagers seek arms training to take on Maoists T

NN, Mar 13, 2010, 09.35pm IST

JAMSHEDPUR: The Dalma Gramin Suraksha Samity (DGSS), an outfit formed to take on the Maoists, has sought arms training for its members.

On the lines of the Nagrik Suraksha Samity (NSS), the DGSS volunteers have requested the East Singhbhum district administration to provide arms training to take on the banned ultras in the border areas of Bengal and Jharkhand.

DGSS member Banmali Banerjee said recently they have petitioned the district police for arms training and licence for the security of the cadres running a battle of sorts against the Naxalites in the Dalma Range.

"We have submitted a proposal to the district police, seeking training in arms and licence for the same to our volunteers engaged in running a campaign against the Maoist guerrillas in the hilly terrain of Patamda and Nimdih block on the Jharkhand-Bengal border," said Banerjee, a resident of Lailam panchayat under Patamda block.

Over a period of time, DGSS has actively raised its voice against Maoist violence in the Dalma hills and, in the last fortnight, they even took out a motorcycle rally to generate support.

"The reason for our open rebellion against the Naxalites is because the normal life of the villagers in the Nimdih-Chandil-Bodam-Patamda areas has got paralyzed due to the violence unleashed by the ultras," said Banerjee.

The district police, however, tried to play down the issue with senior superintendent of police Naveen Kumar Singh refusing to acknowledge that he had received any such proposal. "So far, we have not received any such proposal however what is the point in giving training without arms. It's like training people to become pilots without airplane anywhere in the sight," said Singh.

Notwithstanding the SSP's remark, sources in the police have confirmed they have received the proposal from the villagers but it has not made up its mind as yet.

"In January, a delegation of villagers from Patamda had come down to the district police headquarters with the proposal but nothing much moved thereafter," said a police official.

The rural periphery stretching from Nimdih block in Seraikela-Kharsawan district to Bodam in East Singhbhum district along side the Dalma hills has become a hotbed of Naxalite activities over a period of time with violent incidents taking place at regular intervals.

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