Chhattisgarh to declare 15 areas Naxal-free
Deccan Chronicle| Rabindra Nath Choudhury
We are going to conduct a fresh survey in these villages to reaffirm they are now completely free from Maoist influence, says Dantewada SP
According to the police, the elected representatives of local rural bodies belonging to these villages had earlier fled their homes fearing reprisals from Maoists. Representational image/By arrangement
Raipur: Fifteen villages in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar district of Dantewada, considered Maoist strongholds till recently, are set to be declared free from Naxal influence on August 15.
A survey conducted in these villages six months ago has found that complete normalcy has restored in these villages and the local villagers no longer are feeling threats of Maoists. "We are going to conduct a fresh survey in these villages to reaffirm that these villages are now completely free from Maoist influence. We will declare them free from Naxal influence on August 15", Dantewada district superintendent of police Dr Abhishek Pallav said.
These villages situated nearly 100 km from block headquarters of Dantewada were once Maoist strongholds and the writ of Naxal used to run in the villages, police said.
The weekly markets in these villages had often been swarmed by armed Maoists. Security personnel were attacked several times by Naxals in these weekly markets earlier.
According to the police, the elected representatives of local rural bodies belonging to these villages had earlier fled their homes fearing reprisals from Maoists. "Local elected representatives such as panchayat members, sarpanches & panchayat secretaries have returned to their villages indicating that Maoists no longer ruled the villages", police said. The key indicator of normalcy in these villages was that roads and bridges being built in some of these villages are being constructed without deployment of forces, police said.