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Odishatv Bureau

Malkangiri: Close on the heels of hundreds of Maoist sympathizers in this district shunning violence in recent months, Maoist leader Benu criticized ‘forcible surrender’ of the villagers in the area and threatened to take revenge against the State government if police don’t stop the practice.

In an audio tape released to the media on Monday, the rebel leader said in the name of surrender, the police are forcing the innocent villagers to appear before the police so that it can take the credit.

“The police are creating terror in Maoist-hit areas. The innocent villagers are forced to parade before the police so that it can clain they have surrendered. In some cases it is falsely implicating innocent common people as Maoists. If it is not stopped, we will take revenge against the BJD leaders,” Benu said in the tape.

“The State government aims to paralyse the agitation of the CPI (Maoist) by taking the help of para-military forces. Besides combing operations, it is resorting to arrest, false encounter, torture of women and killing of innocent tribals. It is also falsely announcing that the Maoist support base is weakening in the district, which is completely wrong,” he further noted.

However, the State government denounced the claims made by the rebel leader.

“Being an elected representative, I always try to develop my area and see that the government’s social welfare schemes are implemented properly. The government’s policy is that no poor should be deprived of the developmental schemes meant for them. We always try to reach the people and discuss their problems,” BJD’s Malkangiri MLA Manas Madkami said.

Countering the allegations of torture by the police, he stated, “The tribals are not tortured. Police are doing their duty to help Maoists and their supporters to return to the mainstream.”

Media reports said over 1200 Maoist sympathisers in the district have surrendered before the police in the last three months. The maximum number of surrenders have been reported from Malthili police limits of the district bordering Chhattisgarh.

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