Concerned over mass resignations of panchayat members in Gadchiroli, the Centre has asked the Maharashtra government to ensure safety and security of elected representatives from Maoist threats in the Naxal hotbed.
Home Minister P Chidambaram is said to have spoken to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan recently and asked him to do the needful to protect the elected civic body members in Gadchiroli, many of who have put in papers after the Maoist intimidation. Official sources said during last one month, two Gadchiroli zilla parishad members from Etapalli tehsil quit their posts following Naxal ultimatum.
Four panchayat and one zilla parishad member in Bhamragarh in the district had also resigned from their respective posts.
The sources said of late Maoists have abducted many panchayat or zila parishad members in Gadchiroli and released them only after they agreed to abide by the Naxal diktats. The Maoists, they said, do not want any development in rural areas of Gadchiroli as under-development and lack of connectivity give them free run in these remote areas.
Gadchiroli, one of the worst Naxal-hit districts in the country, saw at least 30 killings and 50 abductions in the last six months.