VIPs not allowed beyond the base camp, 23 km from Jodeghat in Adilabad district, owing to security reasons

Tribal organisations on Monday staged a protest at Hatti base camp in Kerameri mandal demanding that VIPs including Collector A. Ashok attend the 72nd martyrdom anniversary of legendary Gond leader Komram Bheem at Jodeghat village.

The VIPs were not allowed beyond the base camp, about 23 km away from Jodeghat owing to a perceived threat to their security as Maoists are reported to be moving in the area.

The VIPs who were stopped from proceeding towards the venue of the darbar in connection with the martyrdom anniversary include Asifabad MLA Atram Sakku and Collector A. Ashok.

Balladeer Gadar had reached the venue much earlier as did officials from all departments led by in charge Project Officer of Utnoor’s Integrated Tribal Development Agency G. Mahesh.

Scores of agitated tribal people prevented the Collector from going back following the denial of access to Jodeghat by the police.

They wanted him to attend the darbar and assured him of protection by forming a human shield.

At the darbar, where heads of almost all government departments were present, tribal leaders voiced their grievances mainly the one concerning rights on forest land.

They were assured of justice by the Integrated Tribal Development Agency Project Officer.

While the Asifabad MLA paid tributes to the Gond martyr at Hatti base camp, the Collector and others had participated in homage organised at many places. The Bharatiya Janata Party also paid homage to the leader at Adilabad.

Rich tributes

Warangal Special Correspondent adds: Commemorating the 72nd death anniversary of champion of tribal people Komram Bheem, people cutting across ideologies paid rich tributes to him here on Monday.

The Adivasi (Girijana) Employees Welfare and Cultural Association conducted a programme at the Telangana Martyrs Memorial at Hanamkonda.

‘Bhoomi Pooja’

‘Bhoomi Pooja’ was performed on the occasion to install a statue of Komaram Bheem.

Association State general secretary M. Buchaiah, vice president P. Krishna Prasad, town committee convener G. Krishna Rao Telangana Rashtra Samiti district convener P. Sudharshan Reddy, Telangana Joint Action Committee district chairman T. Papi Reddy and others paid floral tributes to a portrait of the tribal hero.

Awareness

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Krishna Prasad said Komram Bheem was instrumental in creating awareness among the tribal people in protecting their rights.

The fight for right over forest land for Adivasis with the motto ‘Jal-Jangal-Jameen’ later helped them enjoy special privileges through provisions made in the Constitution of India, he added.

Prof. Papi Reddy said Adivasis were the base of society. The Central and State governments in the name of special economic zones and safe zones were trying to displace them from the forests which had been natural habitat for centuries. At the recently concluded biodiversity meet in Hyderabad, delegates from different nations stressed the need to protect forests and tribal people. But the governments here were acting on the contrary affecting the lives of the tribal people, he lamented.

Professor from Kakatiya University E. Satyanarayana called for collective efforts by the Adivasis to safeguard their interests.

YSR Congress leaders N. Radha, B. Sudhir Reddy, Telugu Desam Party district vice president T. Haribabu, Telangana Graduates Association president Yakub Reddy and others were present.