Friday, June 15, 2012

Who set fire to kendu leaf godowns? FRIDAY, 15 JUNE 2012 23:39


FRIDAY, 15 JUNE 2012 23:39
SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR
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While repeated incidents of burning of kendu leaf godowns in Balangir district has raised questions about the prospects of livelihood of the poor kendu leaf pluckers who are mostly tribals, sources indicated that the insane act may not be that of Maoists but of some unscrupulous leaf traders with a motive or of forest officials angling for gains.
The sources said that investigations by the police point to the involvement of unscrupulous traders, and not Maoists, who are serving their own interests in the burning of godowns in the name of the ultras. The Balangir District Forestry Forum is confused over the identity of the culprits. They are suspecting the hand of corrupt officials with a design to cover up their irregularities and fish in troubled waters.
Kulamani Sahu of Balangir District Forestry Forum said the burning of kedu leaf godowns allegedly by Maoists is not going to provide the desired benefit to the poor kendu leaf pluckers.
Once a godown is burned down, there is little possibility of the Government reconstructing the godown at the same place and providing work to the pluckers in that area next year.
The forum has appealed to those who are indulging in burning of the kendu leaf godowns to not resort to such mindless acts that would tell upon the livelihoods of the poor workers.
Moreover, there should be a proper inquiry into the burning incident as this might be the handiwork of unscrupulous forest officials who might be trying to cover up irregularities by taking the name of Maoists, Sahu said.

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