Nuapada tribals warn Maoists of retaliation

Nuapada: Fed up with a series of barbaric killings of innocent tribals by Maoists, the most recent being the murder of a tribal college student, a tribal body in Nuapada district on Saturday staged a road blockade in the district and warned the left wing ultras of retaliation if any such incident takes place in future.

Talking to media persons here, president of Nuapada Zilla Adivasi Sangh, Bhanu Pratap Singh Majhi, said the tribal body of the district strongly condemns the brutal murder of Gajapati Majhi, a Plus Three second-year tribal student by the Maoists.

Coming down heavily on the double standards of the Maoists, Majhi said the left wing ultras, who always claim that they are working for the development of the tribals, have killed Gajapati, who was a jewel.

“We have demanded a compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the family of Gajapati from the state government. We have also requested the state government to provide a government job to one of his family members,” Singh said.

He further said the Sangh has also demanded two CRPF camps inside the forest area in Nuapada district.

“Maoist activities in Sunabeda sanctuary have come down drastically due to the presence of CRPF personnel, who have set up three camps inside the forest. As a result, the tribals residing in the forest have openly challenged the Maoists and have threatened to retaliate if they cause any harm to them. We also urge the state government to set up two CRPF camps in the forest areas of our district to rein in the Red Rebels,” Singh added.

Former Zilla Parishad president and advisor of Nuapada Zilla Adivasi Sangh, Jemanani Dharua, said the Sangh had staged a road blockade in the district to get justice in the brutal murder of Gajapati Majhi by the Maoists, who have killed 24 innocent tribals of the district since 2006.

“We have urged the police to give adequate protection to the tribals and requested the state government to deploy CRPF personnel to set up camps in the forest areas of the district and launch an anti-Maoist operation,” she said.

Balakrushna Sabar, secretary, Nuapada Zilla Adivasi Sangh, said the Sangh has urged the Maoists to refrain from mindless killing of innocent tribals and work together with them for their development. “If they do not pay heed to our request, we will strongly protest them,” he warned.

Prasanna Kumar Padhi, Nuapada District BJD president, said the Maoists had killed Gajapati Majhi, a college student, suspecting him as a police informer.

“As responsible citizens, we have a duty to inform the police about any illegal activities. In this perspective, Gajapati had informed the police about the Maoist activities. He had done nothing wrong as it was his duty. We have requested the chief minister to kindly consider the case and provide adequate compensation to the family of Gajapati and rehabilitate one of his family members by providing a government job,” Padhi said.

He further said he has requested the State Police to conduct routine combing operation with the CRPF personnel to flush out the Maoists from the district.

Asked about the matter, Nuapada MLA Duryodhan Majhi said the tribals are now between the devil and the deep sea.

“The Maoists frequently visit the tribal village in the bordering area and are provided food and shelter by the villagers. If police gets any information about the presence of Maoists in the village, it comes to the village to get the details. On the other hand, the Maoists target the tribals as police informers suspecting that they have provided information to the police,” Majhi pointed out.

He said he has requested the state government to provide adequate protection to the tribals, who are being indiscriminately killed by the Maoists.

Referring to the deployment of CRPF personnel in the district, Majhi said the Central forces deployed in Boden and Nuapada district headquarters are not budging from their camps. “If they visit nearby villages frequently, it will be a boost for the tribals, who will gather courage and fight against the Maoists,” he pointed out.

Nuapada SP Pinaka Mishra said the police has welcomed the protest demonstration of the tribals against the Maoists in the district against the brutal murder of Gajapati Majhi.

“On behalf of the district police, I appeal to the people of Nuapada district to jointly protest such heinous crimes of the Maoists. I assure all the tribals residing in the forest areas that the police is aware of their plight and will try its best to provide them with adequate protection. I also urge them to raise their voice against the Maoists as the district police and the administration are strongly behind them,” he said.