Saturday, December 08, 2007

Living with Naxal terror

Saturday December 8 2007 09:37 IST

Deba Prasad Dash

MALKANGIRI: Eerie silence prevailed in the interior villages of Kalimela, Motu and MV-79. These areas remain cutoff from the district headquarters town from Sunday, when the PLGA Week began.

The week would conclude tomorrow but the fear of Naxal attacks would remain forever for these villagers.

“We are staying in their kingdom and God knows what the Annas (Naxals) will do if we do not listen to them”, remarked a 22-year-old businessman of Kalimela. Why should we risk our lives, he questions.

The gun literally rules the land here. With the Government slow in acting against the Naxal menace, the villagers prefer to be loyal to the Naxals.

The villagers stayed back home, businessmen downed shutters and vehicles remained off the road for fear of landmines.

People did not find it safe to use private vehicles either. Vehicular traffic between Malkangiri-Kalimela-Motu was completely paralysed during the entire week.

With no option left people walked distances of nearly 100 km to reach their destinations. Patients were the worst affected.

Though ambulance service is available at Kalimela and MV- 79 at a minimum government rate, it was not sufficient to meet the demand.

If sufficient ambulances are not provided in these areas, the patients’ difficulties in the interior pockets may further worsen.

However, the district administration had made adequate arrangements for people’s safety.

Armed police personnel in plain clothes and in uniform have been deployed in various police stations and important installations of the district to avert any possible untoward incident.

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