Thursday, January 10, 2008

NGO-Maoist link in Kandhamal

The Orissa government will inquire into allegations by Hindu outfits that there is an unholy nexus between some NGOs operating in riot-hit Kandhamal and the Maoists and that the ultras did play a role in the communal strife.

This is not the first time that the state government has invoked the Maoist bogey to divert attention from the real issues. But the NGO sector has welcomed the idea and hopes the truth will replace myths.

The police suspect that the man who was a part of the mob that attacked the Hindu colony of Brhmanigaon last month may have been a Maoist.

The armed attack on a police station, the recovery of weapons from nearby villages and Brahmanigaon's proximity to a well known Naxal zone have led to the suspicion that Maoists were behind the retaliatory attack by Christians.

'' We suspect they had a hand and in fact the attack in Brahamanigaon could have been engineered by them,'' said Tarun K Mishra, Home Secretary, Orissa.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has been alleging that certain Christian establishments and NGOs operating in Kandhmal and Gajapati districts had links with Maoists and were diverting foreign funds to Leftist ultras just to keep them on their side.

''Two NGOs working in our village were behind the attack. They have been publicly saying that have links with naxalites and will drive away all Hindus with their support,'' said Jogeswar Patra, Brahmanigaon.

The state government has ordered a police investigation into the NGO-Maoist links and hopes to include this as part of the Judicial probe. But NGOs say every time there is social unrest they are the first targets. An inquiry, they hope, will clear all doubts.

''If there are some naxal-led activities which are found to be happening in those areas and if government suspects an NGO nexus, I think it's high time that this should be absolutely unraveled,'' said Jagadanand, Prominent NGO Leader & Secretary, CYSD.

The Maoists, in a recent press release, accused the Sangh Parivaar and the state government of dragging them into the picture only to hide the real culprits. And as each side accuses the other the truth gets hazier.


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