NUAPADA: An eerie silence prevails in Patpani village under Tikrapada gram panchayat in Komna block. The villagers, who deserted Patpani after tribal Siksha Sahayak Chaitanya Majhi was killed by Maoists suspecting him to be a police informer on February 8, 2013, are yet to return.
Almost all the 140 villagers left the village apprehending Maoist violence after the incident and are staying at their relatives’ houses at Jamchaun, Beheramal, Kumakhan, Mahulbahali, Baddokola in Balangir district while some villagers have shifted to Boden. They have been demanding the district administration to rehabilitate them elsewhere.
One has to trek the dusty and stony road for close to two hours to reach Patpani which is three kms from Kamkeda, the last village which can be reached on a motorcycle. Patpani is situated along Balangir border and has two tubewells and a primary school in the name of development.
Villagers have to traverse 20 kms to reach the nearest CHC at Komna and are even devoid of power supply. In fact, the deceased Majhi was not the only educated youth of the village, but had gone out of the village to study in High School before completing his graduation from Komna College.
Even though a year has passed since his killing, the district administration and police have failed to restore confidence among the villagers to return to Patpani. “We are fed up with living like refugees in our own land,” said a villager, Siba Majhi, who had come to Nuapada along with 18 other villagers on Wednesday to meet Collector, Jayakumar V, to discuss the issue.
They met Zilla Parishad vice-president Bhanu Pratap Singh Majhi and SP Uma Shankar Das and submitted a list of names of villagers who want to be rehabilitated.Though Das said the Maoist violence has been curbed to a large extent and combing operation intensified to keep the ultras at bay, he failed to impress upon the villagers that they are safe. He said he would take up the matter with the Collector.
Assistant Block Development Officer of Komna Debasis Sinha said the villagers were being provided rice under Public Distribution System (PDS) and other benefits under Government schemes.
Sinha said the administration would provide them housing assistance under ‘Mo Kudia’ scheme once it takes a final call on their demands of relocation and rehabilitation.