Naxals' diktat leaves Odisha villagers with no option but to flee for safety

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Malkangiri (Odisha) [India], Nov. 18 (ANI): At least 30 people have recently fled Dabuguda village of Odisha's Malkangiri district after Naxals, whose strength is dwindling after the September 24 encounter, issued a diktat that one member from each family will have to join their organisation. The Naxals have also opened recruitment camps in the forest area to ensure that the locals do not defy their diktat and one member from each family joins their organisation. The ultras are also forcing them to raise slogans hailing "martyrdom" of their accomplices killed in a police encounter earlier on September 24. The locals, who found themselves in the midst of danger - as they were afraid of being killed by the ultras' if they refuse to comply with their diktat or being killed in police encounter if they join the ultras - found no option, but to flee their villages. In search of a safe haven, 30 people of five families from Dabuguda village covered a distance of 40 km to reach Kudumulu Gumma Block. It is understood that after the killing of 30 Maoists in a police encounter on September 24, the strength of ultras has dwindled, and thus, they are launching recruitment drives and forcing the village residents in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to send one member of a family each to join their outfit. Malkangiri Superintendent of Police (SP) Mitrabhanu Mohapatra told ANI: "Five families have come to us alleging that Maoists have displaced them. Maoists are using 'fear' tactics after losing public support here." Even as Mohapatra has made arrangements for their lodging and security, these displaced people fear for their lives and how long they will be sheltered under the top cop's protection is also a big question. (ANI)