'Deprivation landed naxals in region'

Former MLA H M Vishwanath said that people in Sakleshpur region are facing threat from naxals. “We have repeatedly said that naxal influence has spread in several villages, which have been deprived of development,” he added.

Addressing a media conference here on Saturday, he said naxal activity emerged in the region as soon as the Gundia Power Project was planned in the Western Ghats.

“We had earlier revealed that naxal activity would gain due to the formation of Kudremukh National park and displacement of tribals from their settlements. If Western Ghats are seen as an business entity, then it would cause immense problems for the region. Original settlers have never caused harm to the forest. Those who have migrated to this region are looting the natural resources, causing locals to join hands with naxals,” he remarked.

Due to development projects taken up in the Western Ghats, lifeline of more than 30 villages is under threat.

Gundia Power Project, several electricity projects, rumours of elephant corridor, Yettinahalla Project, Nethravathi Diversion Project and attack by wild animals are  the issues faced by the locals. Naxals have used these problems to their advantage.

Politicians are to be blamed for the problems as they shunned the ryot movements, which led to the emergence of naxal movement.

If the government doesn’t consider the problems faced by people, naxals will gain an upper hand, he said.

Zilla panchayat member Byramudi Chandru, Manjamma, Mallikarjuna and others were present at the media conference.

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