The Maoist menace has decimated the thriving tourism industry in West Bengal’s Junglemahal area spread across three districts, a popular weekend gateway for city-dwellers here.
Several tourist attractions in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, which till a couple of years back reported 100 per cent occupancy in all hotels and resorts during the peak season, now wear a deserted look round the year.
Admitting that the Maoist activities has affected tourism industry in the area, state Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee said, “It is a political and law and order problem”.
“It has negatively impacted the tourism industry in these districts and we can only hope that normalcy returns to the area so that tourist inflow increases once again,” he told PTI here.
Junglemahal, a region mainly covering parts of the districts of West Medinipur, Bankura, and Purulia in the state of West Bengal in India, has recently drawn attention of everyone. People of this region belong to the tribal communities including Santhals, Lodha, Shabars and others. People live there in extreme poverty and in some blocks like Jamboni ninety six percent of them live below poverty line which means that they do not get frugal food regularly and even daily. Death caused by hunger is nothing new and despite such reports appear in the printing and electronic media the government of West Bengal or of India has never recognized and accepted the truth. The region has long been left neglected in all respects.
You may find signboards of health service centers which are weak small structured built years back and are without any health services activities. You will never find provisions for drinking water anywhere. Some wells are there and they are filled with dirt and women walk miles to fetch a little water from miles away. Education and transport system are equally neglected. With the sunset the entire area becomes dark as electricity has not been taken inside the tribal area.
Communists of the Maoist variety of India have been active there for some years. They have conducted an unsuccessful blasting targeting the Chief Minister of West Bengal on the day of inauguration of a factory in Shalboni by the Jindal Group. As a sequel to this the police have tortured women and others of some adjacent villages and have tortured them brutally. Sitamoni Murmu, a tribal woman has lost one of her eyes. This has ignited the long-standing grievances of the tribal people and they have demanded that the police responsible for such brutal assault must regret openly.
In December 2009 this was published: “Communists of the Maoist variety of India have been active there for some years. They have conducted an unsuccessful blasting targeting the Chief Minister of West Bengal on the day of inauguration of a factory in Shalboni by the Jindal Group.
The Chief Minister of West Bengal is in charge of the police department officially and he is infamous for his highhandedness. He does not accept the appeal and demand of the tortured people worthy to be considered. The tribal people have gained ground to organize and then People’s Committee against the Police Atrocities is formed.”