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Tension in Gadchiroli — Maoists call poll boycott March 9, 2007

Posted by naxalwatch in Obstruction of Pools.

Pradip Kumar Maitra

Nagpur, March 9, 2007

Tension prevails in the tribal district of Gadchiroli, bordering Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, in the wake of “poll boycott call” given by the Naxalites of CPI (Maoist) on the eve of Zilla Parishad elections.

The Maoists have appealed to villagers to respond their call and ensure a total success. They have been making every possible effort to disrupt the elections process.

The ultra leftists on Thursday accosted a Tata Sumo jeep in which NCP workers were travelling and campaigning for the party candidate, Bandopant Mallelwar, the former president of Gadchiroli Zilla Parishad. At gunpoint, the extremists forced the NCP activists to get down from the vehicle at Kondawahi village and set the Sumo afire. They snatched two mobile sets from them. Similarly, the Maoist rebels stopped a vehicle at Karwafa in North Gadchiroli and asked the occupants of the jeep, Congress workers, at gunpoint to get down. They later took the vehicle to dense forests and set afire.

In another incident at Binagunda, just adjacent of Abujhmad of Chhattisgarh, the Naxalites attacked a police camp last evening. However, the security personnel retaliated promptly and a fierce exchange of firing from both the sides continued over two and a half hours. The district police claimed that a Naxalite was killed in the encounter. However, no dead body was found at the site.

The district administration has tightened the security arrangement in Gadchiroli on the eve of Zilla Parishad polls that is slated on March 11.

Moreover, the elected representatives and those on the Naxalite hit list were alerted about possible attacks in the wake of the elections. The then Congress legislator and now a minister, Dharmaba Atram of Gadchiroli was kidnapped by the Naxalites in 90s while the Gadchiroli district Congress president, Balu Kopa Bogami was killed by the left-wing extremists in last ZP polls. The district police has already been provided Z category security to the state minister, Atram, who is from the district while the former legislator, Satyabhan Atram was provided X category security

Asked about the Maoist violence in the district on the eve of ZP polls and the election boycott call given by the CPI (Maoist), Shirish Jain, the superintendent of police (SP), claimed that it would have little impact in the district. “It will only be limited to some interior areas,” he further claimed.

Email author: pradipmaitra@hindustantimes.com


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