Friday, June 04, 2021

Five naxals surrender in Chhattisgarh''s Narayanpur district


Narayanpur, Jun 4 (PTI) Five lower-rung naxal cadres surrendered in Chhattisgarh''s insurgency-hit Narayanpur district, police said on Friday.

They were mainly involved in tasks such as arranging ration and putting up banners and posters, district Superintendent of Police Mohit Garg said.

They turned themselves in before police officials here stating that they were disappointed with the "hollow Maoist ideology", he added.

Those who surrendered were identified as Budhu Cherka (48), Bheema Kowachi (40), Sonu Usendi (35), Guddi Dhruva (20) and Payko Mandavi (18), all active members of Maoists'' `jan- militia'', the SP said.

Their tasks as naxals were arranging meetings and ration, putting up pamphlets, posters and banners and conducting recce of security forces, he said.

They will be provided assistance as per the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the state government, Garg added. PTI

Vaccination drive at Maoist stronghold in Latehar


Forty beneficiaries receive jabs in bus that travelled to Saryu and Domakharn

A beneficiary receives his Covid jab in the bus at Latehar district on Friday.
Telegraph Picture
Our Correspondent

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Vaccination in the Maoist-infested Saryu and Domakharn areas of Latehar district kicked off on Friday afternoon where 40 beneficiaries, mostly tribals, got their first jab of Covishield as a bus doubled up as a mobile vaccination unit to reach them.

Latehar BDO Ganesh Rajak, who was present at the vaccination bus along with two nurses, said not a single dose went to waste as villagers showed interest in getting the jabs and also agreed to come to take their second dose after 84 days. He said four Covishield vials, vials each containing 10 doses, were opened and used. 

Palamu district reproductive child health officer Anil Kumar Singh informed that 5,000 doses of the vaccine were dispatched to Latehar district from Palamu on June 3. 

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Talking about the drive, DC Latehar Abu Imran said, “Our rural medical mobile unit will be reaching out to people we find either on the roads or in the alleys of villages. We will persuade them to take the dose of the vaccine. Our officers are working hard to make sure every eligible person gets vaccinated.”

Saryu and Domakharn are places where Maoists still carry out attacks despite tight security measures but they caused no problem to the vaccination drive on Friday even in the most remote areas. 

Locals said that though the rebels hate the men in khaki, they have respect for nurses and sahiyas, who were present during the drive.

Officials were also relieved as rain did not mar the drive on Friday. Extra care is being taken for the smooth execution of vaccination during the upcoming monsoon season


https://www.telegraphindia.com/jharkhand/vaccination-drive-at-maoist-stronghold-in-latehar/cid/1817750

Maoists’ special guerilla squad commander’s guard gives up arms


Nandu was working as a guard to the commander, CPI Maoist SGS (special guerilla squad), Lachanna. Nandu was suffering from ill-health and there was no chance of him getting proper treatment.

By Author  |  Published: 4th Jun 2021  2:25 pmUpdated: 4th Jun 2021  4:27 pm

Mulugu: A member of the outlawed CPI Maoist, Madakam Nandal alias Nandu (20) of Kourugutt village of Pameda mandal in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh, surrendered himself before Superintendent of Police (SP), Mulugu, Dr Sangram Singh Ganpatrao Patil here on Friday.

Nandu was working as a guard to the commander, CPI Maoist SGS (special guerilla squad), Lachanna. Nandu was suffering from ill-health and there was no chance of him getting proper treatment. When he was a child, his mother passed away and he joined the ‘Balala Sangam’ affiliated to the Maoist party.

The SP said he worked for the Balala Sangam for three years. “He was upset with his father’s drunken behaviour. He came to Pasra village in Telangana, started working at Gundla Vaagu project, and was staying with a relative in Budidhagadda Guthikoya Gumpu. In 2018, he joined as a member of Cherla Arunakka Dalam with the help of Somudu, a UG cadre, and worked there for one year as a Dalam member.

On the instructions of Azad Telangana State committee member, he moved to Manuguru and worked as a guard to Lachanna, a special guerilla squad commander. At the time of working as a guard to Lachanna, he participated in Battoom firing, Pedda Midisaleru road blasting and also in the exchange of fire at Tekulagudem of Chhattisgarh in which 24 CRPF personnel died,” the SP added.

Nandu stated that so many Maoist underground cadres were infected by Coronavirus and some of them succumbed to the virus as they were unable to get proper treatment. Referring to COVID infections among the Maoists, Patil asked the Maoists to surrender and get medical treatment for the virus. “All the benefits from the government will be provided to the surrendered Maoists,” the SP added

Why protests against a CRPF camp in Maoist-infested Chhattisgarh have not died down


The protests, which suit the Maoists uncomfortable with the presence of security forces near their strongholds, have attracted thousands of tribals




CPI leader Manish Kunjam with the investigation team meets the villagers to listen to their problems in Sukma, Chhattisgarh; Photo by Bhupesh Kesharwani

Aprotest that began three weeks ago against a newly-built Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp at Silger in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-affected Sukma district marks the latest fault line between the Maoists and security establishment. The protest continues even after an incident of altercation on May 17 when the CRPF opened fire on the protestors, killing three people. Recently, locals claimed that a fourth person, a pregnant woman, died of injuries she had allegedly sustained during the stampede that followed the firing on May 17.

The Silger camp, that came up on May 12, is the latest security installation to come up in what is described as a ‘liberated’ territory spread over 10,000 sq km in South Chhattisgarh. The protest against the camp has witnessed participation from around 30 villages and also from the Sarv Adivasi Samaj (SAS), an umbrella organisation of tribals that came up before the 2018 elections in the state.

The approach to the camp has been blocked with felled trees. The protest venue has moved about 2 km away from the camp site towards Tarrem. A team of BJP leaders who wanted to visit the camp could not go beyond Tarrem and a sub divisional magistrate (SDM), too, who was to probe the firing, was unable to reach Silger.

Setting up camps has been an established strategy on part of security establishment to bring more area under their control, but never has a camp been so vehemently opposed as this one has.

Silger is barely 5 km from Tarrem camp, from where the April 3 operation to target Maoist Commander Madvi Hidma was launched. In other words, Silger is the extension of the security forces’ control over the area. It is very close to Puvarti, Hidma’s village. Sources in the security establishment have said that the setting up of camp at Tarrem and plans to open the next camp at Silger has been problematic for Maoists and the April 3 attack, in which 23 police personnel were killed, was also part of the plan to oppose the camp.

Slowly but surely, the forces have been moving deeper into Maoist-controlled territory. Silger is one such critical camp for the forces. A camp at Silger would be problematic for Maoists as it would cut off their free run in the region. It would also prove to be a problem for the dreaded Battalion Number 1 of the Maoists to operate in areas south of the Dornapal-Jagargunda axis. The last few months have witnessed the setting up of four new camps around this area, basically at the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts. The forces have entered new territories and with every new camp, the exclusive zone controlled by Maoists has been reducing. Three more camps are to be set up in the area which would link Sukma to Dantewada via Jagargonda. The area around Silger has been cut off by Maoists since roads haven’t been allowed to be built since the mid-2000s.

But why are the locals protesting? Local residents claim that they have no issues with the setting up of schools or hospitals but do not want a police camp in their vicinity. They claim that the land on which the camp has been set up is private and has been cultivated by a local family for years. The SAS conducted an inquiry through its divisional president Prakash Thakur and has submitted the report to the Bastar divisional commissioner who in turn has said that the ownership of the land would be a point of inquiry by the SDM. “The land on which the camp has been set up did not belong to local people. It is government land. The camp would cut off the Maoist control in South Chhattisgarh which is why it is being opposed by them,” says P. Sunder Raj, IG Bastar. “The area in which the protests are being held has 121 Covid positive patients. The protesters should call off the agitation considering the risk of covid.”

Further, the SAS has claimed that a meeting of the gram sabha was not convened to take permission for setting up the camp and demanded that an FIR be registered against police personnel involved in the May 17 firing, the locals arrested after the incident be released and the gram sabha be convened to discuss the camp in presence of the SDM.

The security establishment did try to win over the locals when the camp was set up. There are 28 camps in Bastar region and the police have followed more or less the same protocol while setting them all. Once the camp is set up, the locals are called and given support in the form of medical camps, roads and schools. At Silger, too, this protocol was followed. The residents of Silger are neutral towards the camp, the protest is largely being led by residents of villages even 15-20 km away from Silger.

Meanwhile, Maoists have called a bandh on June 5 to protest the incident. In a release sent out by the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DSZC) of CPI (Maoist), the bandh has been called to demand removal of all camps from Bastar.

The Chhattisgarh government, though, has made it clear that it is not going to back down. Cabinet spokesperson and agriculture minister Ravindra Choubey told the media: “We all know who is fuelling the protests and compelling the locals to participate in the protests from villages that are far away. We are, in fact, going to set up more camps.”

So how is this impasse likely to end? “The rains are, at best, two weeks away. The ferocity of the Bastar rains will wash away all protests,” says a police officer, who wished to not be named.

https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-insight/story/why-protests-against-a-crpf-camp-in-maoist-infested-chhattisgarh-have-not-died-down-1810496-2021-06-03


Thursday, June 03, 2021

COVID-19 helps Telangana police nab top Maoist Gaddam Madhukar


Express News Service | Published: 03rd June 2021 09:45 AM

Gaddam Madhukar


WARANGAL/KHAMMAM: Through a sheer quirk of fate, Maoist party Dandakaranya special zone divisional committee secretary Gaddam Madhukar landed in police custody, when he went to Warangal seeking treatment for COVID-19.

The police nabbed Madhukar, when they stopped the car in which he was travelling, at Mulugu crossroads. Initially, they suspected he was an ultra but on questioning, it became clear that he was one of the most wanted Maoists.

Madhukar informed the officials that he had come to town as he was suffering from Coronavirus. Madhukar, who hails from Kumrambheem-Asifabad district, has managed to evade police for more than two decades. He is now in a private hospital.

Madhukar alias Mohan alias Shobhroy told police during interrogation that most of the Maoists in the interior parts of the jungle are hit by the virus. However, they are unable to come for treatment as the party leadership is not allowing them to do so.


He revealed that top Maoist leaders including Central Committee Members Katakam Sudershan alias Dula Dada, Thippiri Tirupathi who goes by several aliases such as Devuji and Kummu Dada, state secretary Yapa Narayana, Telangana State Committee member Bade Chokka Rao alias Damodar, have Covid-19. 

A case has been registered under Section UAPA Act 1967 in Matwada police station against Madhukar under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a minor and Nellutla Naresh who were helping the Maoist. Warangal Police Commissioner Dr Tarun Joshi said that the virus spread among Maoists after they organised a protest against the police camp set up at Silgur of Chhattisgarh 10 days ago

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Maoist held, four IEDs seized


TNN | Jun 1, 2021, 04:34 IST
TNN
The seized explosives

Hyderabad: An alleged 

Maoist

 dalam member was arrested and police recovered four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from his possession in Pamunuru forest area in Mulugu district on Sunday.


Acting on inputs about Maoist militia from Tadapala, Chelimela, Jella and Pamunuru villages assembling in Pamunuru forest to plant IEDs to target police and paramilitary personnel involved in combing operations, Mulugu police along with bomb disposal team and CRPF proceeded to the spot on Sunday morning and located the militia members.


On seeing police, the militia members, who were planting IEDs, tried to escape, Mulugu superintendent of police (SP) Sangramsingh Patil said. “Our team managed to nab one of them. We have also seized IEDs and explosive material from the spot,” the SP added.


The accused was shifted to Venkatapuram police station at 4 pm. After interrogation, police identified him as Madavi Boodu, 40, a tribal from Jella village of Venkatapuram Mandal. Boodu along with militia members of Tadapala, Chelimela, Jella and Pamunuru villages of Venkatapuram mandal and Pedda Utlapally, Chinna Utllapally, Ramapuram, Beemaram, Kasthuripadu and Pujarikanker villages of Chhattisgarh had participated in several unlawful activities during the past few years. “Boodu is involved in 28 cases under UAPA Act,” the SP said.


https://m.timesofindia.com/city/hyderabad/maoist-held-four-ieds-seized/amp_articleshow/83129053.cms

Dreaded Maoist Turned MLA, Seethakka Treks Forest To Deliver Ration To Adivasis


 

Danasari is on a mission not to let anybody sleep with empty stomach during this Pandemic. She is trekking kilometers across hills and mountains and reaching out to people of inaccessible villages and delivering food and essentials to the people who are in distress. 


Dreaded Maoist Turned MLA, Seethakka
Dreaded Maoist Turned MLA, Seethakka

News Summary

Danasari was a terror for the people and had given sleepless nights to the forces.

Once a Maoist commander, Seethakka has now emerged as a savior for adivasis in Mulugu

Amidst the scorching sun, 48-year-old Danasari Anasuya, carries a load of bags on her head and some others in her hands as she walks through a hilly terrain during the Covid -19 lockdown period. At first, she might look like a migrant worker but the spectacle is more than meets the eye because she is a Hardcore Maoist  turned public representative, the  MLA of Mulug constituency of  Telangana. 


Danasari is on a mission not to let anybody sleep with empty stomach during this Pandemic. She is trekking kilometers across hills and mountains and reaching out to people of inaccessible villages and delivering food and essentials to the people who are in distress. 

“Years ago, when I was with the red rebels, several times these innocent villagers have fed me when I was hungry, now it is my turn to feed them,” says Danasari.

“When I was crossing the hills and terrains on foot, it took back me to my old days when I wielded guns in my hand but now the same hands sport rice and vegetables, and essentials for distribution to the needy in the villages,” Danasari who is popularly known as Seethakka (Elder sister) in her area adds.


Telangana is also badly affected by the Coronavirus as its neighboring states like Odisha and Chhattisgarh, where around 3000 plus cases are reported on a daily basis. There are many areas of Telangana, which are situated in the middle of the forests, where one has to walk several kilometers to reach. 

Amid such a situation, people living in these areas could not get help during the lockdown. Now Dansari (Seethakka) has taken up the task of helping such people. She and her team are supplying ration and other essential items to almost 275 hamlets under Eturunagaram, Tadwai, Mulugu and Govindaraopet mandals of Mulugu constituency. All these hamlets are located within 20-25 km radius in the dense forest pocket. 

On her journey to reaching out to the people, Danasari narrates how she has crossed streams, climbed steep mountains and never hesitated to trek through dense forests to reach these villages, many of which are located in Maoist-hit border regions with Chhattisgarh.
“These areas are familiar with me. I have trekked so many times in these terrains during my Maoist days so it is not very hard for me to do so,” she says smiling.

Belonging to the Koya tribe, Seethakka’s family used to stay in a remote forest dominated inaccessible village of Telangana. Poverty, deprivation and exploitation of the upper strata pushed her to join the left wing extremism at an early age of 16. 

Her journey from an ordinary cadre to the Maoist commander was very tough. She was heading an armed squad active in the same tribal belt. While operating in the forest as a gun-wielding Maoist rebel in the late 1980s to the early 1990s; she was a terror for the people and had given sleepless nights to the forces. She had witnessed many police encounters and also participated in many gunfights with the police but after losing her brother and husband, who were also in red fold, in an encounter, she disillusioned with the movement and surrendered to the police in 2004 under a general amnesty plan. 

The new innings poured new commitments for her as she pursued her studies and secured a law degree. Life took a new turn for Seethakka when she decided to come to the public life. She joined Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and contested from Mulug in 2004 elections. However, facing a Congress wave, she could only finish as a runner-up. In 2009, she won the election from the same constituency. She finished third in 2014 polls and in 2017 she quit TDP to join Congress. She made a strong comeback in 2018 by wresting the seat despite the statewide sweep by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).


Dreaded Maoist Turned MLA, Seethakka

Last year, during Covid period, Seethakka had distributed more than 8,000 kg rice among people in her constituency. She received accolades from all quarters because within 45 days, she had covered 425 out of 640 villages in Mulug constituency.
With help from a team of her co-workers, she gets up at 4:30 am, finishes packing rations and essentials items by 5:15 am and then starts to reach to the needy people to the inaccessible villages. The Adivasis in the interiors are often unaware of what is happening outside and the lockdown perhaps came as a shocker for them. 

“The Adivasi only knew that there is some disease and should not step out. People who have some rice are surviving with rice jawa (gruel). Though Telangana government announced 12kg rice and Rs 500 for white card holders, tribals have been left out from these benefits as they don’t have any official document. She says this is why she took it upon herself to help them in the time of pandemic,” she said.

“They have chosen me as their representative. If they are in trouble and hungry how can I be happy. Is it not my moral responsibility to serve them as much as I can?” she questioned.

Seethakka is very active in social media. She also runs a campaign #GoHungerGo in different social media platforms which was quite popular during last year and received lot of appreciation. 

Undoubtedly, once a Maoist commander, Seethakka has now emerged as a savior for adivasis in Mulugu in these difficult times and her story may inspire many in days to come


https://odishatv.in/news/national/dreaded-maoist-turned-mla-seethakka-treks-forest-to-deliver-ration-to-adivasi-47719



Security Forces Kill Two Maoist Cadres in Chhattisgarh's Kondagaon, Arms Recovered


Security Forces Kill Two Maoist Cadres in Chhattisgarh's Kondagaon, Arms Recovered
Representational image.

Police said some more members of the outfit may have suffered injuries during the gunfight and managed to flee from the spot. Searches are being conducted.



RAUNAK SHIVHARENEWS18
Updated: June 01, 2021, 18:08 IST

Two Maoist operatives were killed in an encounter on Tuesday in Chhattisgarh along the borders of Kondagaon and Kanker districts, police said. A police officer said bodies of two uniformed Maoist cadres were found after an exchange of fire near the Bhandarpal forest area in Kondagaon district. A huge cache of arms, including an SLR rifle, .303 rifle and three 12 bore rifles were recovered from the spot

Security forces launched a search operation on Monday after receiving information about the presence of members of the extremist outfit’s ‘North Kanker-Mainpur Division Coordination Committee’ in the Rajpur-Bhandarpal-Timnar forest.

Fighting began around 12.30 pm on Tuesday and continued for about an hour following which two Maoist cadres, including a woman, were killed.

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Kondagaon Superintendent of Police Siddharth Tiwari said some more members of the outfit may have suffered injuries during the gunfight and managed to flee from the spot. Searches are being conducted in the nearby areas to apprehend them, he said.

RELATED NEWS

Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, Sundarraj P, said search operations are underway for the past few days by troops of the BSF, ITBP, STF, DRG from Amabeda, Iragaon, Dhanora and Kanker regions to capture ultras moving around the district borders

Chhattisgarh police sees conspiracy behind continuing protests against CRPF camp



Three people were killed on May 17 when security personnel opened fire on thousands of violent protestors including suspected armed Maoists on the fifth day of protests against the setting up of a CRPF camp in Bastar’s Silger village inside a Maoist stronghold.

UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2021 07:25 PM IST

The villagers threaten to stay put until the CRPF camp at Silger village is removed in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar.

Fifteen days after three men were killed in an alleged exchange of fire between security personnel and suspected Maoists at the CRPF camp in Silger village, protests against the camp continue with villagers erecting a structure of rocks in the shape of a memorial pillar to honour the dead. The Chhattisgarh police has alleged Maoists’ hand behind the protest.


In the meantime Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday formed a committee of public representatives, headed by Bastar’s MP Deepak Baij, to find facts about May 17 Silger firing and the subsequent protests. The committee also includes tribal leader Lakheshwar Baghel and it will report to the chief minister’s office after talking to the local people. Others on the committee include Sant Ram Devti Karma, Shishupal Sori, Anup Nag, Vikram Mandavi, Rahman Baijam and Chandan Kashyap.

The villagers, however, threaten to stay put until the CRPF camp at Silger village is removed, however, police allege the protest is backed by Maoists and legal action against the 17 “outsiders” at the protest site is under consideration for their alleged role in fuelling the unrest.


“Villagers in the area are being pressured by Maoists and their sympathisers to continue the protest against the security camp in Silger. ...Sukma and Bijapur district administration have issued numerous appeals... to end the protest...,” IG Bastar P Sunderaj said on Tuesday.

Three people were killed on May 17 when security personnel opened fire on thousands of violent protestors including suspected Maoists on the fifth day of protests against the setting up of a CRPF camp in Bastar’s Silger village- a Maoist stronghold along the border of Sukma-Bijapur districts in Chhattisgarh. Villagers said they feared the presence of CRPF personnel in the camp would lead to harassment of innocent tribals.

The villagers also claimed that the firing was unprovoked but the police said they retaliated to firing by armed Maoists, who had infiltrated the protesting crowd, and planned to set the CRPF camp on fire.


Later, a magisterial enquiry was also ordered into the firing but it has not finalised its report yet.

A few days back, the Communist Party of India (Maoists) Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee issued a statement in support of the protest against the CRPF camp and called for a strike on June 5. On May 29, the villagers claimed that a pregnant woman, Poonem Somli, 25, who was injured in the stampede during the firing on May 17, also died.

The Bastar IG on Tuesday said that police have seized photos, video, documents, mobile call detail records indicating 17 persons, including 6 women, were instigating the villagers to violence on the behest of Maoists.

“The main Maoist cadres operating in the area are Irpa Jagdish, Manila, Shankar, Deva and Vinod. We are gathering more evidence against the entire conspiracy behind the incident and will take appropriate legal action against those who are directly or indirectly supporting the banned CPI Maoist formations,” the IG added.


Human rights activists in Bastar have asked for removal of the camp in support of the protestors’ demands.

“What is needed is to break this stalemate democratically. It can be done if the government suspends functioning of this camp and... any new camps in the area during the Covid crisis. The Maoists too should... cease military action and concentrate on getting the population under their influence vaccinated. Let Corona times be peaceful times,” said Bela Bhatia, a human rights activist.

Bhatia in her fact-finding report, which was released on May 27, claimed there was no evidence to support police claim that an armed group of 3,000 agitators, including Maoist cadres, took over the peaceful protests on May 17 and intended to burn down the CRPF camp, leaving the forces with no choice but to open fire.


The security forces maintain that the Maoists were opposed to the CRPF camp, set up for construction of a key road, as it would lessen their influence in the area. Chhattisgarh government too issued a press release last week to say 28 camps of security forces had been set up in the Maoist-affected areas of Bastar in the last two years to support developmental works.

“Since the progress of Bastar is being looked at as a hurdle by the Maoists, they are regressively opposing these camps. These camps are often ambushed. The Maoists even attempt to create misunderstanding among the native villagers and trick them to go against the security forces,” the release said.

The government also claimed that the surge in the Maoist activity in Bastar was also due to lack of communication and dialogue between villagers and the district administration, which was being addressed by measures including these camps.


Ravindra Chaubey, government spokesperson and a cabinet minister said it was pretty clear who was opposed to the CRPF camp and was behind the protest. “People need roads in that area and hence camps are established. For the development of people, roads are important and if needed more camps will be established,” Chaubey said

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/chhattisgarh-police-sees-conspiracy-behind-continuing-protests-against-crpf-camp-101622548378515.html


Nursery in Odisha village set on fire by 'Maoists'


Express News Service | Published: 01st June 2021 09:10 AM

The nursery reportedly set on fire by Maoists at Kulabeda village. (Photo | Express)


MALKANGIRI: A nursery in the remote Kulabeda village under Mathili forest range of the tribal-dominated Malkangiri district was set on fire allegedly by Maoists on Sunday night.

Sources said a group of red rebels raided the nursery, destroyed the saplings by setting them on fire in protest against the Forest department’s initiative to go for massive plantation on the outskirts of the village.

Confirming the incident, Malkangiri divisional forest officer (DFO) Pradeep Mirase said saplings worth around Rs 3 lakh have been destroyed in the fire. 

A letter left on the spot by Boipariguda area committee of the CPI (Maoist) stated that the ultras destroyed the nursery opposing the proposed plantation on forest land.


“We had planned to carry out a plantation drive on the degraded land in reserve and protected forest area under Ama Jungle Yojana by Vana Suraksha Samitis comprising local villagers. Though the drive was not started, pitting was underway. The villagers never opposed the plantation and always extended their support for the project,” Mirase said.

The DFO further informed that Mathili forest range officer was asked to visit the spot and take stock of the situation.

Though Malkangiri SP Rishikesh D Khilari confirmed the incident, he said, the letter doesn’t seem to be written by Maoists. 

​“We suspect it to be a mischief of some villagers. However, we are investigating into the incident,” Khilari added

Monday, May 31, 2021

Development is Trickling into Naxal-overrun Dantewada amid Covid Challenges .


Development is Trickling into Naxal-overrun Dantewada amid Covid Challenges
The bridge over the Indravati river in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.

To overcome the impoverished region's various challenges, the Chhattisgarh government is relying on the mantra of development, with trust and security.

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RAUNAK SHIVHARE
BASTAR // Updated: May 31, 2021, 16:41 IST

Wracked by remoteness, economic inactivity, illiteracy, lack of development and left-wing extremism, Dantewada region of Chhattisgarh has for long been one of India’s most intractable corners of backwardness and misery. And then came the pandemic.

Dantewada falls in the Bastar region, which is a fifth schedule area. This schedule of the Constitution protects tribal interests in states other than Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Local plans are required for overall development, due to which the district administration plays an important role.

The district administration here executes government programmes based on local sentiments and local conditions, in view of the Naxal menace.

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The Naxal or Maoist movement dates back to 1967 when armed peasants revolted in Naxalbari and later the “red" cadres of the CPI (Maoist) led the agitation claiming legitimate socio-economic rights for tribal and locals. Security personnel have been fighting bloody battles with the guerrillas around the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh that comprises remote districts like Sukma, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Kanker, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Dantewada and Jagdalpur.

To overcome the region’s various challenges, the Chhattisgarh government is relying on the mantra of development, with trust and security. Observers say the administration has been working for at least the past two years to win the trust of locals and bring about progress. The Covid-19 pandemic though escalated the problems in a region starved of healthcare infrastructure. Several Maoists too have succumbed to the disease.


In order to achieve the goals of development, security camps have been set up in areas like Chikpal, Kamali Guda, Potali, Chindanar and Malewahi.

Various schemes for the development of villages in the region were pending for many years, officials say. Projects such as the construction of a bridge on the Indravati river near Chindanar village at a cost of Rs 56 crore, enabling electricity access to remote area likes Potali and Burgum, the opening of shops under the public distribution system (PDS) in highly sensitive areas as well as the construction of the Barsoor Palli Road, connecting many villages, are signs of progress.

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In conversations with local people, it was found that during the nearly four months of the monsoon season, the area around ​​Indravati was almost cut off from the district headquarters. The indigenous people had little or no access to medical care. After talking to the villagers following the construction of the bridge, officials say they found that there was a wave of happiness. It has also opened up new avenues of employment and eased connectivity woes for agricultural work as well.

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It has also provided an opportunity for the administration to provide governance to every nook and corner.

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The opening of the security camps there has given confidence to locals as well as government workers to come here. Villagers say they feel the region is poised to join the mainstream, and where once children used to join Naxal organisations, now they are going to schools and ashrams.

Chikpal resident Somesh Kumar Markam said that after the opening of the camp in the village, there has been a lot of change. “There is a road to reach the village. Previously, one had to go to Katekalyan on a 10-kilometer walk to get ration, but now with the opening of a ration shop in the village, things are different," he said.

Another local resident Ramvati says that after the road was built here an Anganwadi centre was set up where her children go to study new things.

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Dantewada district has generally seen resistance from villagers to the opening of camps by security forces due to Naxal pressure, say officials, but with schemes like PDS shops, schools, medical centres, electricity supply and bridges starting to come through, the old attitudes are changing.

A health sub centre has started in Chikpal and the villagers are relieved that they don’t have to travel long distances even for minor ailments. Roshni Mandavi, a nurse posted here, says that she has been in the area since 2000. “Earlier people did not come for treatment. But now the villagers have become aware and they themselves come to the centre for treatment," she said


https://www.news18.com/news/india/development-is-trickling-into-naxal-overrun-dantewada-amid-covid-challenges-3795539.html