Other States

Shodh yatra in naxal-affected Gadchiroli

Unperturbed by Maoist suspicions, a group of civilians, social activists, writers, research scholars and professors is on a 10-day Shodh Yatra (search mission) through the naxal-affected tribal villages of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra.

“The main aim of this yatra, which began on Thursday, is to speak to the tribals and try to understand their problems which are being neglected in the [state-naxal] conflict” the organisers said in a statement.

However, the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has expressed doubts. According to the yatra pamphlet, the organisers “do not seem to be on the side of the people. This yatra covers only those villages where police camps are situated. Is it not a police sponsored event?” a statement signed by State CPI (Maoist) secretary Sahyadri wondered.

But the organisers deny that there is any involvement of the police or the administration.

“Maoists claim to be fighting for the cause of tribals. How can they oppose something which is being done for the benefit of the tribals? We are ready to speak to them [Maoists] and we appeal to them to cooperate with us” organiser Arvind Sowani, a professor, said in a statement.

Suggestions welcome

For their part, the police wished the yatra participants “good luck.” “The police are in no way involved in the event. But we will welcome any suggestion the participants come up with, even if it is against us” said Ravindra Kadam, Deputy Inspector-General, Gadchiroli Range.

Among the 50 participants are senior journalist Shyam Pandharipande, social activist Vijay Lapalikar, college principal Lakhsmikant Tulanakar, research scholar Srikant Bhovate and NGO members.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 10:18:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shodh-yatra-in-naxalaffected-gadchiroli/article5536549.ece

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