(also known as Dantewara
) is a town and a nagar panchayat
in Dantewada district
in the state of Chhattisgarh
. It is the administrative headquarters of Dantewada District
. It is named for Ma Danteshwari
, a local goddess
, worshipped as an incarnation of Shakti
. Dantewada is held to be one of the fifty-two sacred Shakti Peethas
Dantewada is located at . It has an average elevation of 351 meters (1154 feet).
As of 2001
, Dantewada had a population of 6632. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Dantewada has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78% and, female literacy is 61%. In Dantewada, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Over the last year, more than 350 people have been killed and 50,000 moved into camps in the Dantewada district, as a result of a battle between Maoist
rebels and an Indian government
-funded militia called Salwa Judum
Formed in 2005, Salwa Judum translates as "peace mission", but hundreds of thousands of tribal villagers are caught in the crossfire between Salwa Judum and the Maoists.
Moaists claim the state-backed Salwa Judum is trying to take the land from tribal villagers and hand it over to big corporations to develop.