‘Red’ letter day: In a 1st, tricolour to be unfurled in 9 villages of Naxal-hit Bastar region on Fri

RAIPUR, Jan 25 : Nine remote villages located in the Naxalite-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh will be witnessing a historic moment on Republic Day on Friday when the tricolour will be unfurled there for the first time in 76 years, indicating the waning influence of rebels and improvement in security scenario.
According to the police, these villages have never seen unfurling or hoisting of the national flag since 1947, but that will change when its residents will join the rest of the country in celebrating Republic Day, which commemorates the day when the Constitution came into effect in 1950. Setting up of new camps of security forces near these villages has paved the way for their development and linked them to the rest of the state, they said. The Bastar region, comprising seven districts, has been the epicentre of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in the state and has seen some of the deadliest attacks by Naxalites in the country. “The tricolour will be unfurled in Palnar, Dumripalnar, Chintavagu and Kavadgaon villages in Bijapur district and Muler, Paria, Saltong, Mukrajkonda and Duled village in Sukma district on Friday. Such an event had not been witnessed in these villages since independence,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P told PTI. The establishment of new camps in these villages in the last two months has pushed Naxalites on the backfoot. Now these villages will reverberate with patriotic zeal when flag hoisting takes place, he said. Of these nine locations, Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) camps have been set up in Muler and Paria, while Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel are stationed in the remaining seven sites, said the senior IPS officer. The positive change in security scenario will allow benefits of government welfare schemes to reach their residents, mainly tribals, and provide further fillip to development, Sundarraj said. Sukma and Bijapur are among the seven districts of the Bastar region which has been struggling with the LWE menace for more than three decades. Meanwhile, the state administration has completed preparations in all the districts, including capital Raipur, for Republic Day celebrations whose highlights will be unfurling of the tricolour and ceremonial parades, an official of the government’s public relations department said here. Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan will unfurl the national flag in the morning at the Police Parade Ground in Raipur and receive the guard of honour by different units of security personnel, while Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai will do the same honour in Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar district, he said. Deputy Chief Ministers Arun Sao and Vijay Sharma will take part in R-Day celebrations in Durg and Bilaspur, respectively. Other ministers and MLAs will participate in R-Day celebrations at different places in the state, the official added. Security has been stepped up in the state, particularly in Maoist-affected areas, in view of Republic Day celebrations, police said. (PTI)