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Dantewada pays for backwardness

india Updated: May 17, 2010 23:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Lack of good governance and economic backwardness have given rise to the Maoist influence in the state in general and Dantewada in particular, according to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.

The state, carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, was always treated as a backward region, he said.

With no development worth the name in the mineral-rich land of Dantewada, 550 km south of Raipur, and the virtual absence of the government machinery, the left-wing extremists have established their hold in the interior areas of the district, which has turned into an epicentre of Maoist activities.

Chhattisgarh has seen a spurt in Maoist violence in recent months. Raman Singh said, “Soon the state will discuss the menace with the Centre.”

On April 6, Maoists killed 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a Chhattisgarh policeman at Chintalnar in Dantewada in the worst rebel attack so far. On May 9, eight CRPF men died in a landmine explosion triggered by Maoists.

Maoists claim to have established a Janata Sarkar (People’s Rule) in the “liberated” areas of south Bastar.

“For the past couple of years we have embarked upon plans to reclaim areas (from Maoist influence in Bastar). It is a long-drawn war,” Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwaranjan told Hindustan Times on Monday.

“But we are not stationing our forces there because of strategic reasons,” he added.

Dantewada is witnessing armed action by the State to reclaim the “liberated zone” through a joint offensive of the central and state security forces.

The Maoists keep registering their strong presence in south Bastar, adjoining Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, through forest paths.

“The rebels will certainly resist any offensive operation by the security forces for fear of losing their hold in the area where they have established their strong presence,” a senior intelligence officer in Chhattisgarh said.