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Maoists plan stir

Prafulla Das

BHUBANESWAR: The Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Saturday condemned the Orissa Government's order banning it in the State along with seven other pro-naxalite organisations. The party announced that it would organise a countrywide road blockade on June 14 and 15 to protest the ban and the `ongoing suppression of people's voices' through the government-supported `Salwa Judam' programme.

"The ban is a brutal assault on the democratic rights of the people," the secretary of the party's State Committee, Sunil, said in a two-page statement. Stating that the Naveen Patnaik Government had been treating CPI (Maoist) and organisations such as the Chasi Mulia Samiti as `virtually unlawful' outfits since long, the party said the ban had exposed the `real character' of the `so-called democratic system of the country.'

The party urged democratic forces to support the proposed agitation. Police and anti-social elements were harassing innocent people in the interior districts in the name of fighting extremism, it alleged. While imposing the ban on Friday, the State Government had announced a rehabilitation package for the extremists who would surrender and join the social mainstream.

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