Policemen stage a play to spread awareness against Maoists in Orissa

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Sambalpur (Orissa), Feb 17 (ANI): Police in Orissa's Sambalpur District staged a play to forge rapport with public and to spread awareness against the Maoists.

The play-depicted life of a villager, lured by the Maoists, leaving his village to join them. Tortured by them later, he wants to return to his village, but fails. The play seeks to strike a chord among the locals.

Police officials said that villagers were scared of Maoists as well as the police and thus suffered silently without complaining.

Police also realised that it was difficult to counter Maoists activities without the help of common man. District administration took this initiative to stage the play in Jujumura village, a Maoist infested area, to make villagers aware of the activities of Naxals.

Police administration has been running an anti-Maoist campaign in villages to help villagers shed their fear and hatred for police.

"We are running a campaign to revive good relationship between police and public. A wrong belief has been developed that the distance between common man and police has increased. We believe this is a wrong notion and it has to be eradicated. This is a part of anti-Naxal operation. We go from village-to-village and spread the message that police is with them," said Pradeep Dash, a sub-inspector.

Residents also felt that such initiative from police administration would definitely help improve their relationship with the police and counter Maoists.

"Earlier, we were scared of police and used to think that relationship with police will cost a lot to us. But now, we know that police is there for our protection. This initiative will definitely strengthen our relationship with them," said Harihar Mohapatra, a villager.

Maoists claim that they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless, but do little to help them.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described Naxal activities as one of the gravest threats to India's internal security. By Sharda Lahangir (ANI)

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