Government cannot provide security to all villagers: minister

March 4th, 2008 - 12:41 am ICT by admin  

Raipur, March 3 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ramvichar Netam said Monday that it was not possible for the state government to provide security to the thousands of people living in relief camps if they returned to their villages. “It’s not possible for the government to provide security to thousands of people if they return to their villages now from relief camps where they are living due to threats from Leftist radicals,” Netam told the state assembly.

He said that 36,991 people from 201 villages in Dantewada district and 10,949 people from 275 villages in neighbouring Bijapur are living in 23 government-run makeshift relief camps.

The mass exodus of villagers of these two districts began after they launched a civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, in June 2005 to take on the Maoist insurgents.

The minister told the house that the government was engaged in a major war with Maoists in Bastar and the people living in relief camps could return to their villages only after Maoists were driven out.

He also said that 10,437 prisoners are booked in the state’s 37 jails that have a capacity of 5,219 inmates. Netam said the state has 15 central jails besides 12 sub-jails and 10 district jails but they are overcrowded, according to a report.

He said Raipur Central Jail was the most crowded with 2,248 inmates as against a capacity of 1,130.

Of the 326 inmates who had escaped in a daring jailbreak by the Maoists from Dantewada jail Dec 16 last year, nearly 70 have been arrested, he informed the house.

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