Maoists prevent holding gram sabha meetings

Koraput: In a setback to the administration, Maoists have stalled holding gram sabha meetings in four panchayat areas in the naxal-hit areas of Koraput district in state.

"We had spread awareness about the objective of gram sabha meetings. Villagers were urged to attend the meetings, but they didn't turn up, apparently to avoid naxal wrath. This happened in at least four panchayat areas recently," Project Director of District Rural Development Agency, Koraput, Chudamani Seth said on Saturday.

The officials, who had reached the meeting venues, returned without conducting any meeting, he said.

Out of 226 panchayats of the district, gram sabha meetings could not be held at Borgi and Langalbeda panchayats of Narayanpatna block, Kaberibadi panchayat of Bandhugaon and Onkadelli panchayat of Lamtaput block, officials said.

Ahead of the meetings, Maoists had put up posters at several places in Narayanpatna, Bandhugaon and Lamtaput blocks asking locals to boycott the meetings.