Saranda Development Plan convinces Jharkhand villagers to vote

Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Apr. 25: The implementation of a development project in the Maoist- controlled Saranda Forest area, convinced villagers to turn out in large numbers to vote.

Launched in 2011, the plan promises better roads, guaranteed livelihood, homes, health and most of all, links to mainstream society.

Efforts are being made to free the area of Maoists, and as a result, for the first time in nearly fifty years, nearly 3000 inhabitants of Digha Village in the Saranda Forest area which stretches across the three states of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, cast their ballot.

Polling officials, including security personnel, finished the electoral process around 3 p.m. on Thursday.

A villager, James Dodrai, said that fear of the Maoists prevented them from voting earlier.

“This area had Maoists. We were scared of them. When they were in this area, we never used to get any information for voting,” Dodarai said.

The head of the Digha Village Panchayat, Guruvari Mundari, said that earlier people feared the Maoists.

“Earlier the situation was very bad. People were scared of Maoists and used to hide from the police.They were scared as they felt these policemen could be Maoists in disguise,” Mundari said. (ANI)