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Shadow of Naxalites looms over Bastar

A correspondent in Raipur | November 26, 2003 09:47 IST
Last Updated: November 26, 2003 09:48 IST


Naxalites of People's Guerrilla Army  killed one Central Reserve Police Force constable and injured two others in three separate incidents in south Bastar in Chhattisgarh on Sunday.

The Naxalites have given a call to boycott the election and have warned that any person involved in electioneering activities will not be spared.

On Sunday evening, in Narayanpur-Bhanupratapapur constituency, Naxalites burned down a jeep belonging to a BJP candidate, which scared away other political workers. Villagers were so frightened by this turn of events that by next day they had taken down all posters-banners of election campaign.

Although Naxalites had called for a boycott of the 1998 assembly election , this time around they are more organised and have intensified their attacks.

This is evident by the fact that they could be restrained by local police earlier, but now the state has to take help of the CRPF.

The threat has forced the Chhattisgarh government to arrange for officials to go to polling booth by helicopters. The Naxalites have threatened to 'physically harm' all those who are in any way involved in the election, including politicians, political workers, polling officials and police personnel.

Although they make it clear that they will not harm voters, but anybody caught taking part will be tonsured and shown around the village as 'traitor'.

Bastar, Kanker, Sarguja, Dantewada, Rajnandgaon, Ambikapur, Korea and Jashpur are the Naxalite-affected areas.

While intimidation plays a big part, the Naxalites also involve themselves in developmental activities to win the trust of villagers.


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