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'State govt has no existence in Bastar'

The Chhattisgarh government has "no existence" in the Maoist stronghold of Bastar, the state's main opposition Congress said Wednesday while slamming the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for failing to either rein in the guerrillas or bring in development in the area.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Raipur
UPDATED ON APR 21, 2010 01:58 PM IST

The Chhattisgarh government has "no existence" in the Maoist stronghold of Bastar, the state's main opposition Congress said Wednesday while slamming the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for failing to either rein in the guerrillas or bring in development in the area.

"The government has no existence in vast Bastar region, it's all Naxal raj (Maoist rule)," state Congress president Dhanendra Sahu told reporters after a Congress team visit to Dantewada district in the wake of the April 6 massacre of 76 security personnel by Maoists.

"Maoists are ruling the roost and striking on forces at their will, the poor tribals are migrating from their ancestral interior villages in fear of Maoists," he added.

Sahu, who addressed the media along with working president of the state unit Satyanarayan Sharma and leader of the opposition Ravindra Choubey, slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for failing to tackle the Maoist insurgency.

"The Chhattisgarh government has failed to either rein in Maoists or bring in development in Bastar," the Congress state chief added.

Two weeks after the April 6 attack, Maoists again struck Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps in Dantewada Tuesday night. However, no casualties were reported.

Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, made up of Dantewada, Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur and Kanker districts, is spread over 40,000 sq km and has been a Maoist stronghold since the late 1980s.

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