Maoists in Bastar Threaten Youths With Dire Consequences for Going to Police Recruitment Drives
According to sources, senior Maoist commanders have been seen in several Bastar villages and are reportedly profiling the youth who have applied for the posts in police department.
Image for representation only (AFP)
New Delhi: Unhappy with locals for joining the ranks of the police in Jharkhand, Maoists are now using force to keep them away from police recruitment drives. In fact, the success of government’s police recruitment drives over the past five years has been a setback for the Maoists in Bastar.
According to sources, senior Maoist commanders have been seen in several Bastar villages and are reportedly profiling the youth who have applied for the posts in police department. The young boys are reportedly being detained by the Maoists and threatened with dire consequences in case they decide to join forces.
In one such input, Lakhma, a commander of Local Organisational Squad (LOS) based out of Usuur, is said to have visited several villages in South Bastar's Bijapur district with at least 30 armed guerillas.
"According to information available with us, he rounded up all the boys who have studied up to 12th standard and threatened them to stay away from the recruitment drives. Those who were found to have participated in these drives last year aren't being allowed to leave their villages," a source said.
Locals in Bastar have repeatedly come forward to fight the red extremists as part of police and paramilitary formations. The all-women Danteshwari Tigers is one such recent anti-Maoist formation that consists of 30 local women, some of who are surrendered Maoists. The force has already been part of many encounters in coordination with District Reserve Guards (DRG) and Special Task Force (STF) of the police.
Bastariya battalion is another such example where battalions consisting of local men have been trained by the CRPF to fight Naxals, at the paramilitary's site in Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh, and has also seen intense action already.
Locals are preferred by police and paramilitary forces due to their familiarity with the terrain and with the local Gondi language which gives them an edge over centrally deputed officers.
Support from locals is one of the major reasons that the government has been able to successfully reduce the foot print of Maoists over the last few years. The government recently said the number of Maosit-affected districts reduced from 126 to 81.
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