SP promises support to villagers who were attacked by Maoists on February 19 last

In a bold step Superintendent of Police Vikram Jeet Duggal along with some top-ranking police officials of the district visited Saagulu, about 12 km from this mandal headquarters and 32 km from Chintapalli, an area over which the Maoists have influence, on Monday.

Mr Duggal conducted Sadbhavana Sadassu at Saagulu to promise continuous support to the villagers who were attacked by the Maoists on February 19 last at Lakkavaram. Three villagers of Saagulu were killed and many others injured during a “panchayati” conducted by the Maoists to solve a problem between Bhagatas of Saagulu and Konds who settled in the village.

Widows of Bowda Pandayya, Adapa Balayya Padal and Vanjari Hanumantha Rao explained the whole story of how innocent villagers were being attacked by the Maoists, Mr. Duggal said. He appreciated villagers for boldly standing against the Maoists and questioned how it was justifiable for the Maoists to kill villagers from whom they seek food and other benefits. Maoists were stalling development of the Girijans he said and promised to take up their problems with the government departments concerned and the district Collector and assured them that he and other police officers were always available to the villagers at any time.

“You trust us and we will keep that trust”, Mr. Duggal said.

Road connectivity

Several youngsters explained the problems the village was facing and wanted the SP’s help. Mr. Duggal himself agreed that road connectivity was an important issue to be taken up immediately. To reach the village he rode a motorcycle for a few km after getting down from his car a few kms from GK Veedhi. (He slipped from the motorcycle during the return journey but was unscathed). The youths can seek sports material and study material, he said and assured that children’s health would be taken care of and a school building would be provided. An NGO was consulted to provide artificial limbs to the needy.

Additional SP (operations) and OSD Narsipatnam A.R. Damodar said they were all proud to visit the village which successfully fought the Maoists.

He assured that the police were always with them and pointed out that it was for the first time that a village had resisted Maoists. This had inspired many other villages in the Visakha Agency and the by-elections held a few days ago saw 70 per cent polling since the people rejected the Maoists’ call to boycott elections.

Deputy Superintendent of Police of Chintapalli E.G. Ashok Kumar, who presided, said development was the right of villagers and they could demand it and not beg for it. Trainee DSP Srihari Babu, CI of SBX A.A. Venkata Rao, CI of GK Veedhi G. Rambabu, CI of Chintapalli Ch.V. Prasad and others spoke.

Mr. Duggal later paid floral tributes to the tombs of the three villagers killed and visited Lakkavaram. He and other police officers participated in a lunch with the villagers. Bank passbooks were handed over to the families of the three villagers killed on February19 and Mr. Duggal also presented volleyball kits, blankets and sarees to the villagers.

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