Chhattisgarh tribals defy Maoists, attend R-Day

Raipur, Jan 26 (IANS) Chhattisgarh's tribal population in the Maoist bastion Bastar Saturday defied Maoist dictates and celebrated Republic Day although the rebels blocked dozens of roads in forested interiors.

Reports from Dantewada, Sukma, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanaker, Bastar and Kondagaon districts which together form the Bastar region said tribals came out in large numbers to attend Republic Day celebrations.

Inspector General of Police Himanshu Gupta, who presides over the Bastar region, said the guerrillas laid heavy wooden logs in key forest roads to force people to stay indoors.

"This is a known Maoist tactic to enforce a boycott of Republic Day," Gupta said.

Chief Minister Raman Singh hoisted the national flag at Lalbagh ground at Jagdalpur.

In a brief speech, he said his government was determined to improve people's quality of life.

Governor Shekhar Dutt unfurled the tri-colour at the state's main Republic Day event at the Police Parade ground here where a dog show was the star attraction for roughly 5,000 people.


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