Post 'Salwa Judum', tribals' condition worsens at Gangalur tow

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, May 5 (UNI) Anti-naxal movement 'Salwa Judum' was worsening the life of local tribals in Chhattisgarh as they were forced to long for the sustenance and medical aids in naxal-affected Bastar division's Gangalur town.

Following naxal terror, tribals have been barred from ploughing fields and abandoning their paternal homes, they have been compelled to stay in relief camps. Even they were being refrained from reveling any marriage ceremony.

Gangalur's former Sarpanch Leelaiya Manjhi, who was a progressive farmer, said from his 30-acre land he procured ample foodgrains which after storing for annual domestic consumption, he also made money upto Rs 40,000 by selling the rest.

''But farms were empty for the last three years and there was no source of income for villagers. Even with the beginning of the 'Salwa Judum' campaign, the weekly local market, which was the economic back-bone of the region, was closed by the government on the pretext of Maoists movement,' rued the former Sarpanch.

Gangalur Relief Camp refugee Hangaram Poonem expressed concern about the deteriorating condition and conceded that no satisfactory aid was provided by the state government.

Mr Manjhi further informed that there were two hospitals but have remained locked for past two months, and the entire staff, including doctors, was staying at Bijapur district headquarters. A dresser seldom visited the place and dispensed medicines.

''Patients had to travel upto 25 km to reach Bijapur to get medical assistance,'' said Mr Manjhi, adding that 15 to 16 doctors posts were accepted but only one MBBS doctor was present there, who provided medical treatment to villagers and security personnel, who were injured in naxal attacks.

Ramaiyya, husband of Perma who succumbed in absence of medical aid, burst into tears while saying that with two minor kids he was facing miserable conditions.

About 30,000 tribals, including 5,000 children, have been living in 21 relief camps of Bijapur district. Earlier, the figure was 50,000 and the difference was created by the mass exodus.

In the relief camps, 10 kg foodgrains was being provided per person per month.

About 500 tribals were killed in Bijapur district in naxal violence so far after the formation of 'Salwa Judum'.

UNI XC-KV PY KN1700

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