Thursday, June 18, 2009

Police posts at exit points

SHASHANK SHEKHAR


Bokaro, June 17: Once bitten twice shy. Having failed to thwart the Maoist attacks in Bermo and Nawadih last Friday in the absence of an adequate communication network, Bokaro police have stepped up security measures in the district.

Within days of the attacks and following strict instructions from DGP V.D. Ram, they have set up makeshift police posts at all exit points in the border areas of the district. Armed guards have been posted at Galobaro, Ghutvali, Sarubera-Narainpur, Bodgadda Penk and Ganiato to check infiltration in the Nawadih block. Besides, policemen have been asked to scan the deep interiors of the forests to round up Maoists.

A senior policeman, who has been assigned the task to erect these posts, rued: “Had these posts been set up earlier, we would have been able to at least challenge the Maoists, who had carried out the last Friday’s attacks.”

The men in uniform are also trying to win the confidence of the villagers residing in Naxalite strongholds so that they can get regular information about Maoist activities from the latter.

In fact, Bokaro superintendent of police Laxman Singh had recently toured villages located in red zones such as Nawadih, Uparghat, Bokaro thermal, Palamau (Nawadih) and Gomia to know about the problems of the rural masses. Singh interacted with the villages and even met the unemployed youths. He also sought advice from elders of the village about how to check the Maoist menace.

Sources said when the SP called on the youths at Palamau, Uparghat and Sarubera, the former complained that block officials demanded bribe from them to issue caste certificates and other required documents. Singh immediately called up the Bermo sub-divisional officer Rajesh Rai to take up the matter.

Frustrated over their bleak future, many jobless youths had joined the rebels, some villagers informed Singh. A group of such youths had even met the SP, seeking his help to cut their links with the Naxalites.

“Although these youths were angry that no developmental work had taken place in the areas, they have promised to co-operate if the administration gave them a chance to come back to the mainframe society,” said the SP.

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