Maoist-backed tribals surrender in Orissa

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Narayanpatna (Orissa), Dec.3 (ANI): Fed up of the violence, hundreds of tribals associated with the Maoist backed outfit, 'Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh' (CMAS) surrendered to the police in Orissa's Narayanpatna region.

The tribals were involved in agitations, and had forcibly occupied lands belonging to non-tribals across Narayanpatna, causing unrest in the region.

But disillusioned with the life of violence and bloodshed, the tribals who claim, they were forced into joining CMAS by the outfit's leaders gave up arms in order to join mainstream.

"We had joined Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) along with our children, out of fear. They (the CMAS activists) were threatening us to support them. Said, if we did not join them, they would harm us. They also threatened to take away our harvest if we did not join them. But now we are not afraid of them, and we have come here to surrender to the police," said Alliya Sikaka, a surrendered tribal.

The police have welcomed their move with open arms.

"Sangh leader was threatening them (tribals), saying they would harm them and damage their houses if they did not join them. In several places, they also proved their threat by damaging tribal homes and forcefully acquiring their lands. They also murdered three-four tribals. The tribals got afraid after all this and now they have realised that there was no point in following them," said Y.J. Rao, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Lakshmipur.

The police have launched a massive operation against the CMAS in Narayanpatna.

The Maoists had fuelled the agitation and instigated the tribals to forcefully acquire the non-tribal lands.

Around 1,600 acres of land had been occupied by the tribals pitching red flags on them. About 120 lower caste families were forced to take shelter in the district collectorate office.

Hundreds of non-tribal families were forced to flee their homes as violence flared despite the deployment of paramilitary troops in certain pockets. (ANI)

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