After distributing welfare schemes to tribals at a function near Varushannadu, DGP Letika Saran said that the tribal villages would be adopted by police in phases. She expressed confidence that their efforts would thwart the Naxals' attempt to intrude the area again after their failed attempt to set up a training camp in arms using for the tribal villagers near Murugamalai.
At the function, tribals submitted petitions to the police to provide them basic amenities. The tribals are now being given basic amenities such as soaps and toothpastes apart from providing cattle and sheep to rear.
Police are striving to educate the tribals about their rights and better their lives by mingling with them. The police said that in the first phase, basic amenities would be provided to 300 villages of the selected 471 villages.
The tribal villagers are being given milch animals, ration cards and blankets to improve their standard of living.
Police got the idea of adopting the tribal villages when they found some gadgets and watches in the tribals' hands, reportedly provided to them by Naxals, police sources said. The Naxals were taking the help of the tribal villagers to enter and exit the forest areas.
Tribal villagers like Karimalai and Easwary, who received basic amenities from the police, expressed fear of threats from Naxals if they reveal anything about movement of the outlaws in their area and sought the police protection. They also expressed inability to help police without phone facility to inform about the Naxal presence in their areas. They urged the police and Forest officials to improve their lives first.
However, NGOs working for tribals say that the police initiative may not bring desired results. The NGOs insisted for better policing in the areas to mitigate the spread of Naxalism.
The NGOs also opined that the tribals should be allowed to live on their traditional professions like herbs cultivation in the deep forest areas and by doing so police could also know the presence of Naxals in the jungles.