Patna, Dec. 31: The administration has started issuing firearms licence to the residents of the tribal-dominated villages in Rohtas district to counter the Maoist menace.
Rohtas district magistrate Anupam Kumar recently issued licences to purchase firearms to 65 residents of the villages under Rohtas, Nauhatta, Chenari and Shivsagar police stations, considered to be the stronghold of the rebels. Sources said the administration has plans to issue more licences in the coming days.
“Arms licences have been issued to the residents of about a dozen villages, mainly those situated on the Kaimur hills. They have been demanding licences to purchase firearms for safety and security of their life and property. They are always scared of the Maoists,” Anupam said.
Sources said the residents of Banda, Magha, Pipardih, Bhurkura, Salma and Auraiya villages, located on the Kaimur plateau, have been provided with arms licences by the district administration. They had raised the demand during home secretary Amir Subhani’s visit to Chenari camps in July-August.
The state government later asked the home secretary to take stock of the situation after a large number of people belonging to the Kharbar tribal community left their houses and took shelter at government-run camps at Chenari apprehending rebel attack.
The office bearers of Kaimuranchal Vikas Morcha (KVM), a splinter group of the CPI(Maoist) which deserted the banned organisation a few years ago, had submitted a petition to the chief minister’s secretariat in Patna on August 11, 2011, drawing the attention of the state administration towards the plight of the tribals, who fell victim to frequent Maoist attacks in Rohtas and Kaimur districts.
KVM principal general secretary Baban Kumar Thakur said: “We had asked the district administration to either provide security to the people of the villages on the Kaimur hills or provide arms licences. The administration has provided licences to 65 people.”
Morcha president Sugreev Singh Karbar has also got an arms licence. Kharbar lost three relatives during a Maoist attack in July, 2011.