Gaya (Bihar), Dec 18 (ANI): School buildings have become the sitting ducks for the violent Maoists as they have been blowing up and damaging the educational institutions by contending that rural children do not need such storied structures to study.
Top brass of the police in Gaya district, one of the worst affected regions in Bihar acknowledged that the presence of Maoists and their influence have retarded all developmental activities.
"After blowing up a school building, they left a note which says that children of poor people do not require an expensive two-storied school to study, they only want simple food, clothes and a good teacher. The government built a good school to inspire confidence in these poor children so that they do not suffer any inferiority complex when they go out on account of their schools back here. This is a complete anti-development rebel group. Their aim is that these children stay in mud huts, work in fields and that there will be no development," said Ranjan Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Gaya.
However, the Maoists say that they plan to destroy all such buildings, which they fear might be used by the government as future 'garrisons'.
"Till now all those buildings which we have destroyed and all these kind of buildings which we'll keep targeting...these are not schools and not just schools; even those buildings made in the name of hospitals, they are also being destroyed. All these buildings are just a preparation for war as is the announcement made by the central government to drag away or finish up Naxalites all over India," said Paramjeet, a Maoist commander.
Out of fear from the barrel of a gun, villagers are meekly surrendering to the rebels' forced recruitment to join the cadre, including children besides indulging in widespread extortion.
The Maoist violence-estimated to have caused 600 to 700 deaths annually and the displacement 100,000 civilians-has spread to 182 of India's 602 districts and has been declared as the country's single biggest internal security threat.
The Maoists have stepped up violence across eastern and central India. They have attacked schools and police stations, and used landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to disrupt infrastructure development projects.
The main objective of the Maoists is to prevent the development of infrastructure in remote areas, which so far has remained their exclusive domain.
Thousands have been killed by Maoists in the recent past. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist threat one of the gravest homegrown threats to India's internal security.
The Maoists claim they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, but they are fast losing credibility as they continue attacking schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects. (ANI)