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Arrest of Orissa villagers for alleged Maoist link draws flak

Posted by Admin on September 8, 2009

By Indo Asian News Service

Bhubaneswar, Sep 8 (IANS) The arrest of at least 30 villagers last month in Orissa’s Sundergarh district for their alleged links with Maoists has drawn flak from human rights activists and family members who staged a protest Tuesday, police said.

Bhubaneswar, Sep 8 (IANS) The arrest of at least 30 villagers last month in Orissa’s Sundergarh district for their alleged links with Maoists has drawn flak from human rights activists and family members who staged a protest Tuesday, police said.Hundreds of people staged protests, blocked a road near Chandiposh village located some 60 km from the steel city of Rourkela and about 575 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, a police officer said.

Police arrested 30 residents of Silipunji and Mundatoli villages under Chandiposh gram panchayat on Aug 29. Branding them Maoist, police said the villagers were involved in several crimes including the murder of a police officer in the region on July 16. Police said although all of the accused confessed to the crimes, villagers and human right activists say they are innocent. ‘None of the arrested persons were involved in any kind of Maoist activities,’ human rights activist Prafulla Samantray told IANS.

Most of the arrested people are daily wage earners. As they are languishing in jail, their families are facing hunger, he said.

‘We are demanding their immediate release,’ Samantray said.

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