Salwa Judum activists isolate villages in Bastar

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Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, Apr 15 (UNI) Restrictions imposed by anti-naxalite 'Salwa Judum' activists have forced tribal families in a remote village in southern Bastar in Chhattisgarh to travel to neighbouring state Maharashtra to purchase even common salt and other essentials.

The activists do not even allow nearly 50 families of Gutta Mangi village, located on the bank of Indravari river, to go to Kutru market located about 10 km away. Hence, they are forced to travel a distance of more than 50 km to reach the neighbouring state.

Similarly, these families are now depending on the Emelkosa hospital, located at about 70 km away, in Maharashtra for medical facilities.

Driven to desperation few tribals from Gutta Mangi met former Member of Parliament Drigpal Shah at Jagdalpur and sought his intervention to take up the matter with anti-naxalite activists, district administration and the state government.

Mr Drigpal Shah told UNI that the villagers complained that the activists asaulted them whenever they went to Kutru market, accusing them of being Naxal sympathisers as they refused to leave the village and move to relief camps, set up by the state government after the anti-naxal campaign was launched in June 2005.

After the campaign was launched, the Maoist naxalites retaliated by unleashing violence against those participating in anti-naxalite rallies and public meetings. As the conflict spread, more than 50,000 people had to desert their native villages and took shelter in relief camps set up by the state government in south Bastar region.

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