Maoist threat: 35 Gram Rakhis quit job in K’put
Due to a recent Maoist threat after the killing of two Gram Rakhis under Boipariguda police limits, 35 Gram Rakhis submitted resignation from job to the Boipariguda police authorities. While 23 Gram Rakhis submitted their resignation last week, 12 others left the job on Saturday last, sources revealed. A total of 40 Gram Rakhis had been working under Boipariguda police station limits and Ramgiri outpost.
Two among them were killed by the Maoists and the rest were threatened to resign from their service for helping the cops. The Garm Rakhis who resigned from their service include Dukhu Khillo, Kursaram Barik, Gurunath Santa, Dhanpati Durua, Damburudhar Dharma, Dasaratha Barik, Dhanurjaya Pradhani, Rama Durua, Sadan Pujari, Pitambar Achary Harsanand Christian and Panchanan Achary. It may be noted here that the Maoists are observing PLGA Week from December 2.
They have given a fresh warning to the SPOs to quit their service. The SPOs are also a in a state of fear, which is causing much consternation for the Koraput district police and the State Home Department authorities because if the SPOs quit their service due to the threat, the law and order situation would worsen further in the district.
During a Bandh called by the Maoists on the observation of the PLGA Week, communication to Malkangiri and Rayagada districts was disrupted as no buses, either of OSRTC or private, remained off the road. The buses plying through Rayagada to Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Brahmapur and Phulbani via Rayagada were cancelled.
Rebel pressure hits construction work
RANCHI: Multiple levy seekers have stalled over 100 road construction projects, including 50 of rural development department. Sources in both the state rural development department and road construction department confirmed that many projects have been hanging in the balance owing to problems caused by rebel outfits. “There was a time when anyone who was willing to work in adverse situations, especially in Maoist-prone areas, was able to make a fortune by taking up contracts of road construction work and other development projects. With the growing number of rebel outfits, however, things have changed.
Since a contractor has to pay levy to several groups which have mushroomed over the years, no one is ready to take up this work anymore,” said a source. There are at least 17 rebel outfits, including CPI (Maoist) and People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), which are active in the state and who try to get their share of every contract that is inked here. The amount collected as levy range from Rs 1 lakh- Rs 10-15 lakh, depending on the cost of the project. An officer in the road construction department said,
“Since a huge amount is taken up as levy, the quality of roads that are being made nowadays have deteriorated. Our engineers don’t go for inspection in remote areas, and in most cases the contractor uses poor quality material. The result is bad roads and bridges that are washed away during monsoons.” Former engineer-in-chief of state road construction department C K Singh conceded that growing number of outfits have posed problems in execution of development projects. “My experience says that at times the engineers and government are more at fault than the contractors and rebels. I was once taken hostage by the Maoists in early 2000 by around 150 armed men.
After having a dialogue with the rebel leader, and urging them to help local youths in getting work so that they are able to make a decent earning, I was surprised to find that the proposal was accepted, and a number of projects in Maoist-hit areas was successfully executed. Even today, if the engineers and government work with a positive mindset, then the projects will not be stalled,” said Singh.
Special secretary (rural development) A K Prabhakar confirmed that around 20 projects in Chatra, Palamu, Hazaribagh, Garhwa and Chibasa have been in the backburner owing to the Maoist problem. Even after signing contracts, the contractors did not start the work. “Around 20-25 projects are going slow after Maoists or other rebel groups burnt their equipment or abducted the employees of the contractors. We have also written to the state home department to look into the matter and provide security cover. Even after getting security, if the contractor is not ready to continue the work then we will scrap the agreement, and bring some other interested party on board,” said Prabhakar.
Army will set up new bases in 4 naxal-hit states
The government is all set to establish new Army bases in four major Naxal-afflicted states in a bid to prevent the CPI(Maoist) from having a free run in their so-called “liberated zones”.The Union home ministry has asked Maharashtra, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to allocate land to set up Army bases to impart jungle warfare training to Army units. The rules of engagement are clear: the Army units will fire only in self-defence if attacked by a Maoist contingent, a top official said. The success of Army’s first Maoist zone base — Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh — boosted the government’s strategy to step up Army presence in Naxal-affected areas. It hopes to “unnerve” the Maoists and instil a sense of security among villagers through the Army’s outreach programmes.
Naxals torch two trucks in Sukma
A group of around 60 Naxals allegedly set on fire at least two tipper trucks used in road construction work in Tongpal area of Naxal-hit Sukma district in Chhattisgarh today, police said.
The Naxals torched two tipper trucks at the Jerum valley when the vehicles were going to Chhindgadh from Jagdalpur carrying the road construction equipment and material, Sukma SP Abhishek Shandilya told PTI over phone. When the trucks reached Jerum valley, around 60 Maoists, including 50 armed ones, dressed as villagers, stopped the vehicles, asked the people to get down and set the trucks ablaze.
The trucks belonged to private contractors, Shandilya said adding police teams were sent to the spot. The ultras are observing People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army week from Sunday. Shandilya claimed that a huge police force has been deployed to thwart the attempts of Naxals from conducting operations during the period.