Chhattisgarh Police involves villagers in its fight against Maoists

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Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Nov 14 (ANI): The Police are involving villagers in the fight against the Maoists, through village defence committees.

The Committee members, including village heads, have been tasked with the responsibility of creating awareness about the Naxal problem and to promote self-defence measures.

"We will go to villages and spread the message given to us by the police. We will create awareness about Naxalite (Maoist) problems and will teach them ways through which they can protect themselves. I am sure the other members of the committee would give us their full support," said Dasgrath Mandavi, a village defence committee member.

Earlier, villagers had been joining hands with the Maoists for fear of being attacked.

The state police is now optimistic about a turnaround.

"We don't want the villagers to get scared and run away whenever police visits them. The villagers can without any hesitation, visit the police station and put forward their complaints to the Superintendent of Police or the Collector if they are facing any threats from Naxals or even from the police for that matter," said Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoists as the biggest internal security threat.

The Maoists started their armed struggle in West Bengal's Naxalbari town in the late 1967.

They have expanded their support base among villagers by capitalising on the tribals and the villagers' opposition to the government's recent pro-industry push and acquisition of agricultural and tribal forestlands. (ANI)

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