Staff Reporter

Cash, cell phones snatched from poll staff returned to Malkangiri Collector

A letter purportedly written by divisional committee secretary also delivered

Naxals seek cooperation of officials in fighting corruption and injustice

BERHAMPUR: The CPI(Maoist) through a letter to Malkangiri District Collector Nitin Bhanudas Jawale has apologised for attacking government officials on election duty during the first phase of election held in this naxal-infested district on April 16.

Along with the apology, the Maoists returned the mobile phones and cash which were snatched from the polling officials by their cadres. Repolling is to be held in 17 booths of Malkangiri district on May 3. Polling had been disrupted at these booths due to naxal menace. Naxals had also manhandled some officials put on election duty that day.

‘No repeat’

The letter claimed that it was written by the secretary of the Malkangiri Divisional Committee of the Maoist organisation. As per the letter the violent acts targeting the polling officials were done by the ignorant activists of their frontal organisations. The letter claimed that naxals did not consider government officials or teachers who were put on election duty their enemies. The Maoist leader apologized for the incidents. The letter also added that the incidents of attack of polling personnel at three booths at Poteru, Tagarkota and Manamkonda would not be repeated.

The Maoists sent back Rs. 6,954, four mobile phones and a mobile phone charger along with the letter. These materials had been snatched from the polling personnel. The Maoists handed over their letter and other materials to a teacher posted in remote area of Kalimela block. The teacher passed on these materials to the Kalimela Block Development Officer (BDO), D. Nayak. The BDO handed over the packet sent by naxals to the District Collector.

It is felt that this act of naxals would help in boosting the morale of government officials deputed for election duty for re-polling to be held on May 3.

This seems to be an act of naxals to garner the faith and support of government officials working in remote areas of Malkangiri district. Through the letter the Maoist leader had also sought the cooperation of government officials and teachers to fight corruption and injustice.