Bastar tribals forced to migrate

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Mar 26 (UNI) Concerned over the migration of tribals from Bastar region due to steps taken by naxal-affected Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh Governments, the Union Child Welfare Commission has convened its next meeting in New Delhi on April 4 in which chief secretaries of both the states have been called.

Official sources said the Commission found that several hundreds of tribals from Bastar region had taken shelter in the forests of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh due to anti-naxal 'Salwa Judum' campaign in the region leaving their ancestral property behind.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Government's Forest Department had destroyed their hutment claiming them to be supporter of Maoist outfits. The Chhattisgarh Government was also not extending help.

Sukko Madawi, head of a tribal family from Dantewara district, said they left the villages due to fear of naxalites and police in view of ongoing 'Salwa Judum' campaign. Naxals killed their family members believing them to be police informers, while police arrested them taking them to be naxals. On the other hand, they were harassed by 'Salwa Judum' activists for not coming to relief camps forcing them to migrate to Andhra Pradesh.

Tribals did labour work to eke out living but there were no anganwadi, education or health arrangements for small children.

An official team from Dantewara district had visited Khammam and Bhadrachalam districts in Andhra Pradesh and found that tribals from several villages had migrated to these districts. Some wanted to return but demanded security.

A voluntary organisation was providing shelter to some tribals.

UNI XC-PS 1538

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