Thursday, June 04, 2009

‘Friendly’ cops to man rebel zones

Jamshedpur, June 2: Villages close to Bengal border can look forward to frequent football tournaments, musical programmes and other recreational activities shortly.

All these would be part of community policing initiatives to be undertaken by the East Singhbhum police at Chakulia, Dhalbhumgarh and Naxalite-affected Ghatshila. The move is aimed at checking the spread of Naxalism.

The decision to start community policing was taken in the wake of a rally taken out by Police Santras Pratirodh Samiti, a pro-rebel outfit at Chakulia on Sunday. The CPI(Maoist) outfit has been trying to make inroads into the villages under Chakulia and Dhalbhumgarh block located close to Bengal border.

The police had started a checking drive during the rally and detained 28. Later they arrested nine of them, including four women, suspected of being Naxalites.

East Singhbhum superintendent of police Naveen Kumar Singh revealed that the body, active in rebel-hit areas in Bengal, wanted to spread its tentacles in Chakulia block of Ghatshila by holding meetings and rallies against the police. The body had set up its East Singhbhum unit with Madan Mahto as the unit chief. Interrogation of the arrested had thrown up these startling revelations, he said.

“The aim is to befriend the villagers in Chakulia and also in Dhalbhumgarh. During the process, we will try to let the villagers know exactly who these Naxalites are and how dangerous they are to society,” said Singh.

He said the district police had already been carrying out community policing in the district for three years, but on a low profile, like distributing blankets among the poor during winter and study material among poor students.

“Our focus will be on the younger generation, which is susceptible to change. We will organise football tourneys between local youths and jawans and other social events like orchestra and antakshari in villages bordering Bengal,” he added

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