Monday, June 30, 2008

Locals losing faith in cops?

KORAPUT: Locals are gradually losing faith in the police administration, thanks to the killings at will by the Maoists and their ‘protest week’ in Bandhugaon and Narayanpatna.During the last six months, properties worth lakhs of rupees have been damaged. But the local police are yet to take any action though they along with the CRPF personnel are camping to protect their stations and camps respectively.Locals alleged that Narayanpatna police had not come forward to take any action against the ultras. “The killing of Balram Sahukar of Nilabadi could have been avoided had the police mobilised CRPF force from Bandhugaon. They had even prior information on planting of landmines and chopping of trees, which was done near the Narayanpatna police station,” they added.Sources said that there is an apprehension of public revolt against the police. Except CRPF and India Reserve Battalion (IRB) staff, police are in plainclothes and this could be a reason why the people are losing faith in the police force. The situation has compelled small traders and contractors to flee. Over 500 families from Nilabadi, Alamanda, Kumbhariput, Jaguguda, Sorpali, Bandhugoan, Nangalbeda and Borigi have already fled. Mostly people of ‘Sundhi’, ‘Kumuti’, ‘Harijan’ and rich tribals are leaving the area.Sources said that Chhattisgarh Maoists are camping in Narayanpatna area to recruit youths and to rescue the LTTE-linked Maoists presently lodged in Koraput district jail for the past few months.Even Narayanpatna, Potangi, Padwa and Laxmipur police stations and the district jail are on their hit-list.It is high time the police took immediate measures to curb the Maoist menace with modern methods, locals said. People of Narayanpatna, Laxmipur and Bandhugaon urged the DGP to intervene immediately and protect the locals.SP Deepak Kumar, however, clarified that to avoid such incidents local police have been conducting combing operations from time to time, but it is difficult to provide protection to each individual.

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