Updated: April 9, 2015 1:56:37 pm
Alleging that the Naveen Patnaik government is working for the interests of multinational companies like Sterlite instead of poor tribals, Maoists have threatened to kill BJD MLA from Lanjigarh and chairman and vice-chairman of local panchayat samiti.
In a letter sent to mediapersons, Maoist leader Umakant of Basdhara-Ghumsur-Nagabali divisional committee alleged that the government was arresting people who are taking part in public agitations against bauxite mining in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts. After gramsabhas in Niyamgiri hills of Kalahandi said no to bauxite mining by Sterlite, the government is planning to start a CRPF camp on Niyamgiri hilltop. “MLA of Lanjigarh Balabhadra Majhi and chairperson/vicechairperson of Biwanathpur panchayat samiti would be killed if they support government move,” the letter by Umakant said.
After the expulsion of Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda from the party in 2012 and subsequent arrest last year, the CPI (Maoist) is trying to make their presence felt in southern Odisha through press releases and threats. Umakant now claims to be the secretary of Basadhara-Ghumusar-Nagavali divisional committee.
“The government is more interested in arranging water and mines for companies like Hindalco in Kashipur and Vedanta in Lanjigarh. After coming to power, Orissa has gifted its mines and to hundreds of companies. With the money given by companies, the government is trying to buy the votes of poor people through sops such as Rs 1 a kg rice, cycle, umbrella, blankets and laptop,” the letter alleged.
Three years ago, Maoists in Koraput district had abducted then BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka(Now Koraput MP) while he as returning home at night. He was released a month later after government accepted several demands of the rebels.
The Lanjigarh MLA and the PRI representatives could not be contacted for their comment. Kalahandi SP Brijesh Rai said he had only heard about the letter and not seen it. “I can’t say if the letter is authentic. But we are prepared to deal with any eventualities,” he said.
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