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Archive for July 19th, 2009

India: Red Flag Over Koraput Land Occupation

Posted by n3wday on July 19, 2009

CPI_maoist_marching_IndiaThis article was published in the Hindustan Times. Thanks to Ka Frank for pointing this out.

Red flag up in Koraput

Soumyajit Patnaik , Hindustan Times

Naxal-backed tribals in Orissa’s Koraput district on Tuesday forcibly reoccupied lands that non-tribals, local businessmen and other outsiders had cheated them of many years ago.

About 200 tribals, with red bandana-like pieces of cloth on their heads and wrists, marched into the rain-soaked agricultural fields in Koraput’s Narayanpatna block, 560 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, and started tilling them. Another group of 150 tribals, armed with swords, spears and other sharp-edged weapons stood guard.

The area of land occupied by the tribals could not be ascertained. Everyone was too scared to speak as Koraput is the heart of Naxal territory in Orissa. HT had first reported (Koraput headed the Lalgarh way on June 22) how the district administration is practically non-existent in some parts of this remote district and how local villagers now take their complaints and grievances to the Maoists.

A land loser, who spoke to HT on condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution, said: “The Maoists killed nine security personnel on June 18. When the police cannot defend themselves, how can they protect us?”

On June 18, the Maoists had completely cut off Narayanpatna block from the rest of the state by felling trees on the highways leading into it. They then killed nine personnel of the Orissa Special Strike Force, the elite anti-Naxal commando force, by triggering a powerful landmine when they approached the area to remove these felled trees. Read the rest of this entry »

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