the brutal after-effects of the killing of mahendra karma

With both the Congress and BJP advocating an intensification of the military campaign against the Naxals, and the UPA government at the Centre even committing more troops to Chhattisgarh, local development in the state could become a casualty in the crossfire…

Such an intensification will result in greater harassment of local tribals, while retarding the government’s attempts to fast-track development in this part of Chhattisgarh affected by left – wing terror. “Developmental work will suffer,” says Samir Garg, who oversees the State Health Resource Centre, an advisory body to the state’s health department. “People will be less willing to travel to these areas on work.”

Government services barely permeate here. For example, according to an official in the Dantewada collectorate, the district of Bijapur had just one chemistry teacher for 3,000-4,000 science students of Class 11 and 12 till two years ago, maybe two now. Skewed ratios are also seen among medical staff and block development officers.

(update: this is the first of the two field reports i filed from southern chhattisgarh after the killing of salwa judum leader mahendra karma. written the day i reached dantewada, this doesn’t really say too much. the second report, written after travelling to sukma and beyond is a little better. to really understand things, read the other links i have appended there.)

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