VISAKHAPATNAM: In what could alarm the state police, Maoists are setting up parallel governments ‘janata sarkars’ in the interior pockets of Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB), buoyed by the success of a similar exercise in the Dandakaranya region of Chhattisgarh.
The Gumma area committee in the neighbouring district of Malkangiri in Odisha set up a janata sarkar in the interior villages of AOB on Sunday when the rebels distributed rice to 800 tribal families. The rice was reportedly collected from contractors and businessmen. They assured the tribals that they would construct cement concrete roads to the interior villages and appoint teachers to the schools with their own funds. They also assured the tribals that medical facilities in PHCs (public health centre) would be provided by them very soon.
Gumma area committee secretary Rukdhar, top leader Golla Ravi alias Madhav alias Sridhar along with five other key leaders were present at the rice distribution programme, sources said. The tribal welfare programmes would be implemented regularly, Maoist leader Rukdhar said. He said that education was a basic necessity to develop the tribal areas and stated that he would appoint doctors to provide necessary medicines to the tribals, who are susceptible to malaria and other water-borne diseases. “All these facilities are provided by us in the forests of Dantewada, Bijapur and Sukma districts in Chhattigarh,” he told the gathering.
Sources said the Maoists are set to take their sarkar concept deep into the tribal hamlets and mandals in the interior Agency areas on both sides of AOB. Senior police officials said the Maoists’ ploy to implement the pro-poor schemes was to win the hearts of the tribals. The Maoists had lost several cadres and sympathizers, besides militia members in arrests, surrenders and encounters in recent times. “They cannot risk more damage to the party and hence are wooing the tribals by distributing rice and other essential commodities,” a senior police official involved in anti-naxal operations told TOI.
Another officer said the Maoists have been trying to regain their lost ground in the AOB area for the last three years. “They want to run the janatan sarkars in the interior pockets to showcase that the government officials do not reach those areas. We have seized some documents which clearly outline their game plans,” he said.
Sources said the rebels were also successful in unveiling pylons and painting the old ones during the just-concluded martyrs’ week celebrations.
“They did not allow the media to take pictures or video footage of the programmes to avoid arrests or identification by the police,” sources said.