Orissa villagers join hands with security forces to fight Maoists

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Sundargarh(Orissa), Dec 24 (ANI): The villagers in the Maoist hit K. Balan region in Orissa's Sundargarh district have for the first time joined hands with the security forces to counter and flush out the Maoists from the region.

Hundreds of villagers from the several villages of the region came out with their traditional weapons, such as bows and arrows, and volunteered to help security forces in conducting search operations in the Maoist affected regions.

Angry villagers expressed their fear and views on the Maoist threat that they face.

"These people (Maoists) come during night and give us warnings that we either vacate our homes or we join them, but we don't want to join them," complained Santosh Munda, a villager.

"We are also going out with our bows and arrows to join the security forces, and to help them. And along with security forces, we villagers also patrol at night," added Harikrishna, another villager.

The police have recovered a large cache of ammunitions in the course of the operation that includes landmines, detonators and other paraphernalia for creating bombs.

Senior police officials said the district administration would take ample measures to ensure that the government's social development programmes reach the people residing in these areas.

"We are doing joint patrolling. We have recovered a large number of land mines, claymore mines, and other explosive material with the help of these villagers. And now that the area is relatively secured, we are now trying to ensure that government benefits, which are already being sent to them - but we are ensuring that they take full advantage of all the government benefits like BPL (Below Poverty Line) counters, tube wells, old age pensions, widow pensions, NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) schemes. We are also organising health camps ensuring that doctors from concerned PHCs (Primary Health Care facilities) camp in that area so that they come to the mainstream, and do not remain in their periphery," said Dipesh Patnaik, Superintendent of Police, Sundergarh. (ANI)

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