Friday, November 20, 2009

Maoists force children to take up arms

20 Nov 2009, 1447 hrs IST

Maoists it seems will to any lengths to recruit more and more people into their fold, even going to the extent of recruiting children. TIMES NOW travelled to Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh to find Maoists ruling the roost on a recruitment spree, targetting innocent children. What is even more shocking is that some of these children were as young as 4 years old.

The visuals point to an organised indoctrination programme, in with Maoists brainwash hundreds of children, making them watch plays and songs laced with Naxalite ideology. Schools which refuse to let Maoists spread their ideology are reportedly demolished.

In the latest video, the camera has captured hundreds of children from a Chhattisgarh government school, foot marching along with armed Naxals.

Earlier TIMES NOW had aired exclusive visuals of children attending an armed Maoists drill and being brainwashed at a Naxal terror camp in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. Their forced recruitment drive, seen now inside a school in the same region, aims to get one child from every household and this adds to the poor tribals’ misery.

A civil war-like situation prevails in Naxal-infested Chhattisgarh, with children having to attend schools under the shadows of guns quite literally.

DG Chhattisgarh Vishwa Ranjan explains why Maoists prefer to catch them young. “The whole concept of the ‘bal sangam’ was that it seems that the Maoists found that the culture and various tribal traditions are too deeply ingrained into the psyche of the tribals. So he is not prepared to listen to a lot of things which the Naxalites will tell him. It is much easier to brainwash a child and to take him away from the influence of tribal culture.”

To get more and more children into their fold, the Maoists have started demolishing school buildings. Now the tribal children would have no option other than to join Naxals school. Some remains of school buildings in the deep forest areas reveal the Red army’s policy of terrorizing the young and catching them young for their terror rule.

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