Friday, June 06, 2008

Maoists luring people with money and medicines

Ranchi (PTI): It's not alone on gun power that Maoists are taking people into their fold in Jharkhand - medicines and money are the new baits in the poverty-stricken areas of the state.

The recent arrest of some Maoist leaders has given police an insight into their method of recruitment which could range from assistance with money and medicines to coercion at gunpoint.

"They approach poverty-stricken homes to get people into their fold. They often begin by giving financial help to families in difficulty and also provide medicine in case someone falls ill," Inspector General of Police (Hazaribagh) B B Pradhan told PTI over phone.

And when money and medicines don't work, it is coercion.

Once a Maoist squad ordered meals from a family in a village and saw a young girl there. The squad leader forced the family to let their daughter join the women's wing of the ultra-left outfit.

The family had little choice, but to give in.

After gaining confidence of villagers, the Maoists start preaching how the 'haves' dominated and exploited the 'have-nots'.

"They compare the standard of living and amenities of the rich and the poor in towns and rural areas and tell the villagers that they were being ignored by the government," Pradhan said.

"The recent arrests of certain Maoist leaders have revealed their style of recruitment," said the police official, under whose jurisdiction naxal-infested districts like Bokaro, Hazaribag, Koderma and Giridih fall.

In order to counter the Maoists, police is holding street plays and have introduced community policing.

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