Dhenkanal (Orissa), April 14 : Many unemployed tribal youth from Kankdahad Block of Orissa's Dhenkanal district are being persuaded to join Maoist groups, who promise them shelter and livelihood.
Today, the Kankdahad Block has become a breeding ground for Maoists, who want to extend their influence among the tribals. The process has been on for the last couple of years.
An area covered by dense forests, Kankdahad is inhabited by tribals who live in appalling conditions. Forest produce has been their main livelihood for decades.
Maoists are promising the youth a better life. Young people are being lured to join the Maoist cadres.
The Maoists call the boys and girls of the village.
"If the invitation is declined, their men start beating us. Due to this fear many of them have joined. On the other hand, the police have also been warning and threatening us not to help the Maoists. We are terrorised from both sides," said Sita Hembrum, a villager, Kankdahad Block in Dhenkanal.
Home Secretary of the State says that the youth are lured into joining the groups because of unemployment.
"Actually it is a fact that unemployed youth are given some sort of inducement . Yes, there are instances of boys and girls inducted into cadres. We need some clues," said T. K. Mishra, the State Home Secretary.
The implementation of the Forest Act has imposed restrictions, which made it difficult for people to collect wood or take out any kind of produce from the forests. People are forced to remain idle, as they have no other avenues of employment.
Facing pangs of hunger and poverty and exploitation at the hands of local leaders , the youngsters have little choice except to join Naxalites.
The local administration has been planning imparting training for alternate employment opportunity for youth, but the progress is slow. By Sarada Lahangir