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Dantewada massacre

After going through the report on the atrocities committed by the security forces in Chhattisgarh villages (March 23), I can very well understand why Maoists have been able to make their presence felt in nearly two-thirds of the country. Pitching the tribals against one another — by creating the Koya force of surrendered Maoists and locals — has only made the situation worse in the State. Dantewada Collector's decision to compensate the innocent victims by giving them money is an insult to the villagers. Maoist insurgency is essentially the result of socio-economic factors. It is, therefore, foolish to believe that by burning down villages and assaulting women, the police can eliminate the ultras.

K.M. Divakaran,

Kannur

* * *

The report of police high-handedness for five days at Dantewada comes as a rude shock. The victims' account of their suffering at the hands of the police was moving. Such atrocities will only add fuel to the raging fire of insurgency. The government cannot escape responsibility for the atrocity by merely announcing compensation and rehabilitation measures.

All security personnel involved in the rampage should be given severe punishment, including dismissal if necessary. If the Chhattisgarh-like atrocities continue, every village and every household will turn against the police and the government.

P. Venkatesh,

New Delhi

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