Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Naxals cash in on lack of welfare

Tuesday December 4 2007 08:12 IST
Ratan K Pani

SAMBALPUR: Lack of development in Maoist prone areas and absence of measures to instil confidence among people are contributing to the growth of Naxalism in the district.

While a sense of alienation is growing among masses, Naxals are capitalising on the situation to woo vulnerable youths. Police’ good work is not backed by administration to win over the people, feel Naxal watchers.

A visit to Maoist-prone villages like Sarada under Jamankira police station, Gariakhaman under Kisinda police station, Sitlenpali under Dhama police station reveals how villagers are being alienated from the mainstream. None of the villages has electricity, road and drinking water.

In Sarada, only three villagers have BPL cards and a pond renovation awaits government nod for past couple of years.

Similarly, Gariakhaman is a hot bed of Naxal activities yet people are forced to drink water from a nullah running in the village and one can see wild pachyderms stalking people in the suburbs of Sitlenpali.

Even after killing of three in Burda village and five in Meghpal area in 2005, the road connecting Jujumora with Burda and Meghpal is yet to be laid.

Police pursued the matter with the district administration but in vain. The then SP Suresh Devdutta Singh had written to collector on May 6, 2007, demanding construction of a 75 km road in Naxal-infested Naktideul, Jamankira and Jamankira block under PMGSY.

With no action forthcoming, Singh had even written to RDC on September 9, 2007, but it proved futile.

This apart, Singh had also requested composite solar lights, a community hall, bore wells and roads in the four security camps in the Naxal infested pockets of the district.

However, the district administration is allegedly sitting over the proposals. Admitting it as a hindrance, Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar said a concreted effort is required to win back the confidence of the villagers being wooed by ultras.

He said kutcha roads expose the security personnel to the threat of landmines being laid by the ultras and make it difficult for them to negotiate during operations

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