The Jharkhand government has directed the local administration on Saturday to evacuate villagers from Burha Pahar region, which has been witnessing repeated bombardments following the heavy offensive over a month by the security forces aimed out at rooting out top Maoist commanders.
Sources said the top officials thrashed out strategies for the offensive, besides deliberating on the development projects the government is planning for the area. Officials said the local administration was directed to get the area cleared even as the Jharkhand police chief warned top Maoist commander Arvindji, who is reportedly holed up in Burha Pahar, to “surrender or be ready to face bullets”.
The CPI (maoist), described the anti-Maoist offensive a conspiracy to displace locals from their ‘jal, jungle and zameen’ (water, forest and land). In a statement released on Saturday in neighbouring Palamu district, CPI (maoist) spokesperson for Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee (BJ-SAC), Gopal said: “The present offensive at Burha Pahar that began on October 29 is aimed to terrorise local villagers so that they abandon their right on jal, jungle and zameen without resistance, thus paving way for the construction of pending Kutku Dam.”
Criticising the security officers for attributing the sounds of heavy blasts to the landmine explosions triggered by the Maoists, Gopal added, “They used light Bofors-like long-range heavy artillery gun to shell the area for four days from October 23 and put the blame on us. We condemn the use of weapons used on borders against us.”