Friday, June 26, 2009

State police launch leaflet war on rebels


The pamphlet distributed in eight districts with an appeal to shun rebel support

Ranchi, June 25: Eight districts, 30,000 pamphlets and one appeal: shun extremism. The war on Naxalites had never been this big in this tribal heartland.

And perhaps for the first time, the men in khaki are using a different weapon to weed out the menace. Every pamphlet intends to expose how the rebels use coercion to get their wards admitted to elite schools and colleges while depriving poor children of the right to study by blowing up school buildings.

“On one hand, they are robbing poor children of their rights by blowing up schools and by recruiting young cadres; on the other hand, they are mounting pressure on the management of Netarhat Vidyalaya to admit their wards. Top Naxalite leader Rupesh Jee has used his clout to get his son into a reputed engineering college in Bangalore — such are their double-standards,” reads one them.

The pamphlets are being distributed in the Naxalite strongholds of Latehar, Chatra, Garhwa, Palamau, Giridih, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Lohardaga to tell residents that the rebels were anti-people despite all their pro-people pledges.

Making a copy of the pamphlet available to The Telegraph, police spokesperson and IG (provision) S.N. Pradhan said this was the first time the pamphlet war had been waged in such a big way. In 2006, the drive was limited to only Latehar and Palamau, two of the biggest Naxalite dens.

The pamphlets provide a detailed list of the school buildings blown up by extremist outfits in 2009. The list includes Manatu Middle School, Chak Middle School, Vishunpur Middle School and Belhara High School of Palamau, Makka Project High School of Lohardaga, Barwadih Primary School of Latehar, Khukhra Middle School of Giridih, Narayanpur Middle School of Chatra and Dangru Primary School of East Singhbhum. Some of the leaflets also have a list of community buildings and primary health centres blown up this year.

In order to expose the “real”face of extremists, one of the pamphlets cites the example of a Mandar boy, Kali Munda, who was allegedly tortured for refusing to join the children brigade of Naxalites in April this year.

A police officer confirmed that already 30,000 copies had been distributed in the past two days and more were being printed. “It is a war the outcome of which is still unknown. People should know how cruel these rebels are and that might prevent them from providing logistic support,” said a senior police officer.

Another posted at Bundu police station said they would continue the campaign till people stopped helping rebels and started aiding the police in the fight against extremism. “The purpose of this pamphlet war is to mobilise people’s support against extremism. We expect a positive result soon,” he said.

Senior police superintendent of police Praveen Kumar confirmed the campaign that began two days ago.

“We are distributing the pamphlets in the Naxalite-hit districts. Special focus is on areas such as Bundu, Tamar and Angara.”

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