Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chhattisgarh tribals pine for home : 80 more families returning soon

KHAMMAM: Three years after fleeing their homes in Chhattisgarh, the Gotti Koyas who have since been living in the bordering villages of Khammam district, are yearning to return if officials in the neigbhbouring State can assure them of safety from both the pro-government Salwa Judum and the Maoists.

The Salwa Judum, particularly, had been making life a living hell for innocent tribals under the pretext of looking for the radicals. Consequently, the the Maoists too started visiting their villages in search of informers. Nearly 500 people have been killed by both groups in the last three years.

According to voluntary organisations, tribals in 364 villages fled their homes in Dantewada district. And though officials claim that some 20,000 Gotti Koyas had entered the State and were living in the border villages, the unofficial figure is said to be around 50,000.

For its part, the Andhra Pradesh police has told the State Government that "Maoists" were "infiltrating" into the State in the "guise" of Gotti Koyas and they should be "sent back" at earliest. This contention had deterred district officials from rendering adequate aid to the hapless tribals.


No comments: