Police for changing traditional style of functioning in naxal area

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Nagpur, Jun 12 (UNI) Maharashtra police want to change the traditional style in which they have been functioning in the naxalite-infested areas of the state in an effort to tackle the menace better.

Speaking to reporters here yesterday, Director General of Police (DGP) A N Roy said that although the conventional action against outlaws would continue, the men in uniform were trying to gain the confidence of the people by trying to bring the administration closer to the people.

''We want to work as a catalyst to ensure that the administration reaches the door of the people in these areas. People must come to know about and take benefit of various welfare and development schemes of the government. Closer interaction between officials and people can help achieve this,'' he said.

Except for the police, government functionaries were not willing to go to the remote part of the infested areas, leaving the people deprived of the benefits, Mr Roy said. A campaign was, therefore, currently on in Gadchiroli, which included awareness camps, health camps, and even sports events and recreation, he added.

''The response to the campaign, which began on June 5 and will be held till June 14, has been overwhelming. People throng to the events in thousands. This will not only bring them closer to the administration, but also help them improve their lot,'' the DGP said.

The police wanted to create a permanent such capability, Mr Roy said, but added that it was not possible for the police to lead the developmental schemes and administrative work, ''It is the task of the administration,'' he stressed.

''We have, therefore, suggested that a meeting of top officials of the administration, including the Chief Secretary, be held in Gadchiroli, or in Nagpur, to ensure closer ties with the people,'' Mr Roy told reporters.

While replying to questions, Mr Roy said that Gondia would be the second place in the state, after Aurangabad where Bharat Battalion or India Reserve Battalion would be stationed.

Nearly 130 acres of land had been identified for the same and was in the process of acquisition, he said.

In reply to another question, Mr Roy said the proposal for the acquisition of a helicopter for the state police to tackle the naxal menace was pending before the Centre. Meanwhile, the police had made arrangements to rent a chopper as and when required for operational reasons, he added.

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