Tribal affairs minister declines to comment on Maoists

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Tribal Affairs Minister Kantilal Bhuria Tuesday said that appropriate steps are being taken for development of tribal areas but declined to comment on Maoist activities.

‘We are working for development of tribals but the 33 Naxal (Maoist) hit districts are for the home ministry to deal with,’ Bhuria said.

Official sources said the minister refused to make a statement on the issue as per the directions from the prime minister, who had asked all ministries except home to remain quiet on issues relating to left-wing extremism. The decision was taken soon after 75 CRPF personnel were killed in the April 6 Dantewada attack.

Asked about developmental activities, Bhuria said his ministry has ambitious plans for spreading education and empowering the tribals.

‘We are starting Eklavya Adivasi Vidyalayas for tribal students from this year. Over Rs.12 crore have been allocated to this plan,’ he said.

‘We are also working towards providing free education to girls so that the tribal women are empowered,’ Bhuria added.

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