BHUBANESWAR: A day after the State Government’s announcement that it is determined to firmly deal with any attempt to disrupt public order and unlawful activities by the Maoists, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday appealed to the rebels to return to the mainstream and work for development.
The Maoists are observing a Bharat Bandh on Wednesday demanding stop to Green Hunt and release of tribal prisoners among other things. “I appeal to my young brothers, sisters and children including girls to return to the mainstream. The law according to the Constitution should not be made law of the jungle,” he said.
Noting that the Maoists were observing a bandh in different parts of the country including Odisha, the Chief Minister said that the misguided youths should instead join development work like tribal welfare programmes and women’s empowerment schemes undertaken by the State Government.
“We are proud that a quarter of the State’s population comprises tribals and therefore Odisha has a vast scheduled area. The youth should return to their homes in deprived areas and take up development activities in their villages,” he said.
He said Odisha was home to 62 tribes and is proud to have a large population of Adivasis. Naveen’s appeal to the Maoists has come following a series of violent activities by the latter in which four civilians and four police personnel have been killed in two months.
The State Government had taken strong exception to the violent activities unleashed by the Maoists since March 12, 2012, the day the two Italian nationals were abducted.
Principal Secretary in the Home Department UN Behera had said that the Government is determined to deal firmly with any attempt to disrupt public order and unlawful activities by the Maoists.
They have indulged in disruption activities like damaging mobile phone towers, burning vehicles and machineries, road blockades and attack on police personnel, Behera said and added that they are also giving frequent bandh calls to disrupt public life.
Behera also mentioned that the State Government was committed to redeeming the promises made during the hostage crisis involving the two Italian tourists and the MLA.