Gadchiroli blasts: Focus now on infrastructure and community spaces, says Maharashtra State minister
State minister says tribal areas in Gadchiroli to become an area of special focus, receive more welfare schemes
After mid-day published a series of ground reports in April, highlighting the core welfare issues in tribal areas of Gadchiroli, Deepak Kesarkar, State Minister for Home (Rural), Finance and Planning, spoke to mid-day about planning new welfare schemes. He said, "In the coming weeks, the government will focus more on Gadchiroli.
In the wake of the recent IED blast (in which 16 people lost their lives), we are using the police machinery to ensure that welfare schemes reach the maximum tribal peoples living deep in the forest. Today, other than the police department, no other government department dares to go there. Secondly, we are going to use all strategies to come down heavily on Naxals and uproot them completely from Maharashtra."
He further added, "The government will give a fitting reply to Naxals soon. We aim to strengthen the police force with state-of-the-art technological support to combat Naxalism, which we will be procuring soon."
The minister has visited Gadchiroli to pay homage to the 15 jawans of the Quick Response Team (QRT) and a civilian who died in the ambush on May 1. He said, "We could sense the families' pain and loss, which could not be expressed in words. Our actions will speak for themselves, at an appropriate time."
Of the infrastructural projects being considered is the construction of several small bridges over streams that get overflowed during monsoon. This needs to be undertaken urgently as the deep forested areas get disconnected during monsoon, making it difficult to supply foodgrains. "Secondly, we have received several demands for the construction of samaj (community) temples, as these villages do not have any meeting areas. Work on the same will start soon, once the code of conduct (during elections) comes to an end."
Kesarkar also stated, "I appreciate that the mid-day team went to Gadchiroli and did ground reporting. I assure your readers that I will go through each issue stated in the newspaper and I will personally supervise and ensure that appropriate plan of action is decided soon by the government."
The investigation continues
A team of forensic experts from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with scientists from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) division in Nagpur visited the crime scene on Saturday morning. They have collected the residual remains of the explosive materials from the scene. The samples will be tested at the FSL laboratory in Nagpur, revealed FSL officials. A senior official also confirmed the visit of the NIA team.
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