Basic facilities a far cry for Gumudumaha residents

Kandhamal: On July 8, 2016 five persons including three women and a baby boy returning to Gumudumaha in an autorickshaw after collecting NREGA wages were killed after a 15-member team of the state’s anti-Maoist paramilitary force and the Special Operations Group allegedly fired at the vehicle.

Following the incident, the state government had promised justice to the victims but even after two years a little has changed in the village.

“The government had assured to provide us all facilities like water, medical facilities and mobile network connectivity but not a single promise has been fulfilled. We are facing a lot of difficulties,” Gumudumaha resident Kanteswar Majhi said.

Dapala Malik, husband of one of the victims, Medialu Malik, said,“After my wife was killed by the security personnel the government has not done anything for us yet.”

Till date there are no proper roads or medical facilities in the village, sources said. Although pipelines have been laid out and work for water tank has commenced, water connection is yet to be given.

Premil Malik, a local ward member, said, “After the incident, the  government officials had assured to provide all basic facilities to our village  but nothing has been done yet.”

Father of the auto driver, who was carrying the victims on that fateful night said, “I had bought an autorickshaw for my son so that he could support the family financially but after the incident the autorickshaw was damaged and my son couldn’t earn anymore. We haven’t got any support from the government yet.”

Notably, the government had set up a SIT(Special Investigation team) as well as a Commission  to investigate the Gumudumuha firing incident. However, the report was never made public.

PCC(Pradesh Congress Congress) working president Pradeep Majhi said, “The accused police personnel were given clean chit by the state government, a decision which has been strongly opposed by the residents of Gumudumaha. In the upcoming elections, they will respond to bullets with ballot.”

Similarly, BJP member Netraman Seth also accused the government of cheating the villagers with false promises.

“The state government had made several promises for the welfare of Gumudumuha residents after the firing incident but nothing has been fulfilled yet. It seems the government lacks interest,” Seth said.

 

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