RAIPUR: It is usually believed that for an outsider, a visit to the Maoist-affected areas in Chhattisgarh is perceptibly associated with the fear factor. And the perception worsens in case of fatal Naxal attacks.
Within the last 24 hours, the Maoists have ambushed the paramilitary troopers and killed 4 BSF and one CRPF personnel at Kanker and Dhamtari respectively, in two separate incidents.
An immediate fallout was seen at Swami Vivekanand airport in Raipur where a pilot of a private helicopter hired by the BJP refused to fly to Dantewada on Friday morning apparently owing to the threat perception and apprehensions over the security.
A day after the Maoist attack in north Bastar's Kanker district, the BJP Scheduled Tribe (ST) Morcha national president Ramvichar Netam, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, was to leave by a private chopper that his party had hired for a day-long programme in strife-torn districts -- Dantewada, Bijapur, Konta (Sukma) and Jagdalpur of Bastar zone, as per the party’s Friday schedule.
But the pilot, whose identity couldn't be known immediately , was reluctant to fly to the conflict zone disrupting the plan of the senior BJP tribal leader Netam who was to reach the tribal belts perhaps to impress upon the adivasis over the alleged “misgovernance” of the new Congress regime on anti-Maoist front that led to casualties of the security personnel.
Netam, who was earlier a Chhattisgarh cabinet minister, was scheduled to hold the party meetings and address rallies ahead of the first phase of polls in Bastar on April 11.
All efforts by the BJP leaders to persuade the pilot of a hired chopper turned futile. Some BJP leaders reacting angrily said that they are paying to avail the chopper services and the pilot can’t refuse them. The adamant pilot, however, stood his ground and did not fly the BJP leaders to Bastar.