Saturday, May 23, 2009

4 lakh tribals displaced due to Maoist activities

24 May 2009, 0933 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: More than four lakh tribals have been displaced due to extremists activists by Maoists in various parts of India, a non-government
organisation has claimed in its latest report.

"A total of 4,01,425 tribals have been displaced due to armed conflicts and ethnic conflicts across India," Asian Indegenous and Tribal People's Network (AITPN), which has special consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), claimed in its report.

"These displaced persons (tribals) have been living miserable lives without basic amenities including food, water, shelter, medical services, sanitation and livelihood opportunities," it added.

About 1.2 lakh members of Gutti Koya tribes of Bastar and Bijapur districts of Chhattisgarh fled to Andhra Pradesh's Khammam between January to June last year to escape violence by the maoists and the salwa judum activists, the report said.

Initially, they were provided humanitarian assistance by the Andhra Pradesh Government and tribals benefitted from NREGA and were also provided with ration cards.

But, these benefits were later withdrawn by the Andhra Pradesh Government soon after maoists killed more than 30 Greyhound personnel in an ambush at Chitrakonda reservoir in Orissa on June 29 last year and police accused Gutti Koya tribals of being supporters of the maoists, the report said.

The AITPN said that about 36,991 tribals from 201 villages in Dantewara district and 10,949 tribals from 275 villages in Bijapur district are living in 23 government-run makeshift camps in the state following the armed conflicts in the region.

Over 96,000 tribals, mainly Bodos, are staying in relief camps since the communal clashes broke out between Bodos and "non-tribal" Muslims in Assam in August 2008.

In Tripura, 30,000 Bru tribals of Mizoram, displaced after an ethnic clash a few years ago, continue to languish in six relief camps and struggle for their basic rights, AITPN said.

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