Bijapur (Chhattisgarh), May 2 (ANI): Suspected Maoists are disrupting the first phase of India's 2011 census operation that commenced in various districts of Chhattisgarh.
District Magistrate of Bijapur R Prasanna said the census team is facing several difficulties as Maoist supporters in many villages are preventing them from meeting local residents and from compiling the relevant data.
"We are facing a lot of problems in around 250 villages. At a few places, the census team was turned back, at some places they were held hostage for a night and then released in the morning. In villages the team was not allowed to enter," said R Prasanna.
The designated enumerators, fearing their own safety, are in a dilemma as Maoists supporters have threatened the villagers against responding to the survey census exercise undertaken by the Central Government.
Despite these, odd trends, the district administration of Bijapur has launched a drive to create mass awareness on the need to reckoned in the national census so as to avail the various benefits and also an individual identity.
"We are talking to the village elders about the importance of census. All the government schemes like the pension scheme, ration quota, Indira Housing Scheme etc are all based on the census. That is why we don't want any villager to be left behind and for this reason we are publicising the importance of the census," added Prasanna.
The first phase of the census operations began in Chhattisgarh on April 30.
The 2011 Census of India, the fifteenth census in the country and the seventh after independence, commenced on April 1 with President Pratibha Devisingh Patil being the first person to be enumerated.
Two and a half million census officials have been assigned this task of compiling details of every Indian citizen appear in the 2011 Census, who will also seek information for the creation of the National Population Register (NPR).
The mammoth exercise will be undertaken in two phases.
The exercise faces many challenges, which include coverage of a vast geographical area, widespread illiteracy and diverse cultures and languages. (ANI)