Jharkhand police distribute items in Maoist infested areas

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Basaria Village (Jharkhand), Aug.5 (ANI): To motivate suspected Maoists to return to the mainstream, Jharkhand Police recently distributed basic essentials required in Naxal affected areas.

The initiative is a part of a community-policing programme introduced in Naxal affected areas.

Khelari Police Station officials distributed the items among residents of remote Basaria village.

"Under the community-policing-programme, we distributed basic items necessary for normal day-to-day life needs to the people of Maoist-affected Besaria village...we make a committee of 10-villagers and distribute items like tents, utensils for food preparation, torches, and handed all these things to the committee in front of all villagers...now locals can use this material during their community programmes like marriages and other events," said Arvind Kumar Singh, In-Charge, Khelari Police Station.

The Maoists have a strong presence in the remote villages of Jharkhand, and the police feel that social initiatives will restore the lost confidence of the public in the police like this.

Villagers said they were happy with the community-policing programme.

"Earlier, we didn't receive any help from the police. Now the police is distributing basic items and other things to us...we like this initiative of the police," said Baijnath Mahto, a local.

Jharkhand is one of nine states badly affected by the Maoist threat.

Last month, the Maoists had threatened Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party President Sonia Gandhi. Analysts said it was the most daring pronouncement from the banned outfit.

The warning came a month after the government listed the Communist Party of India (Maoists) as a terrorist group.

The Maoists have steadily strengthened their stronghold in rural areas in the east. They were active in one-fourth of the districts in 2001, but have spread to one-third of the country's 630 districts presently.

They carry out hit-and-run attacks on police and extort money from businessmen. In the mining state of Chhattisgarh, officials say they extort up to 60 million dollars a year.

Last month, the Maoists ambushed and killed at least 29 police officers who were on patrol in the jungles. Counterinsurgency experts say the police officers who tackle the Maoists lack proper training and equipment to be effective. (ANI)

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