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No official, tribals take Naxals’ help July 31, 2005

Posted by naxalwatch in Uncategorized.
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Sunday July 31 2005 11:02 IST

JEYPORE: The crowd was unexpected and the hustle bustle was unusual in the Naxal-prone Badigeta village under Kalimela block that day. Malkangiri Collector was distributing land records among the tribals.

In an area, where the tribals crave for the visit of even a village level worker so that they can get a chance to put forward their grievances, the Collector’s presence had almost surprised them. Volumes of complaints were virtually poured before the Collector.

With government officials, particularly ground level staff who implement development works, staying away from the sensitive blocks of the district, the Naxals find it easy to rope in the villagers to their fold by promising them a prosperous future.

‘‘It is hard to see a village level worker but one can easily approach the Naxals for help,’’ admits Guru Madkami, a villager of Sudhakunta.

Every year, about Rs 50 crore is pumped to Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput districts for development works. Of the total amount nearly 70 per cent is meant for the inaccessible pockets.

But shockingly, those areas continue to be most neglected. Lack of communication between government officials and tribals happen to be the main culprit of it.

The presence of Naxals acts as a dissuading factor for several ground level staff. As a result, the district level public health camps and public relation camps to be organised every month get delayed.

However, administration sources in Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput said steps are being taken to address problems of tribals in Naxal-prone areas. Land reforms cells have also been formed to settle land dispute cases of tribals.

‘‘We are trying to settle the land dispute cases of tribals and address their health problems on a priority basis and are hoping for a positive response,’’ said Koraput Collector Subha Sharma.

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