New Delhi: The CPI-M on Thursday demanded "an impartial enquiry" into the Pune landslides which it alleged had claimed "at least 200 precious adivasi lives".
The CPI-M said in a statement that the deaths should be blamed on a network of operators of excavators working on neighbouring hills with the sanction of corrupt officers and local leaders. The authorities have admitted to 30 deaths in Malin village in Pune district in the landslides caused by heavy rains.
"The tragedy is further compounded by the shocking reports that it could have been not a natural but a man-made disaster which got accentuated by the particularly heavy rainfall," the CPI-M said.
"The government had adequate warning in the past few years when smaller landslips had occurred that the flow of the backwaters of the nearby Dimbha dam was one of the causes.
"But the government did not take any preventive measures," it said. "In spite of the strong opposition of adivasis to the use of machines, the government did not prohibit their use," it said.
"Equally tragically, the utter neglect of the roads leading to the remote adivasi village meant that relief could not reach in time, which could have perhaps saved lives.
"The tragedy is a stark reminder of the horrible conditions in which large sections of adivasis live and the utter callousness which permeates official policies and attitudes to adivasi communities."