Winning hearts in the Bastar war zone
By Ejaz Kaiser | Published: 16th July 2017 10:56 AM |
RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh Police in the conflict zone of Bastar have embarked on a three-pronged strategy to win the war against the three-decade-old Left Wing extremism.
“Offensive operations, facilitating development, and winning the hearts and minds of the people are our strategy across the Bastar zone. We are trying to reach out to maximum villages,” Bastar deputy inspector general of police P Sunderraj said.
Appreciating the roles and support of locals, the police here have launched a new scheme—Amcho Bastar-Amcho Police (Our Bastar-Our Police). This aims winning the hearts and minds of tribal villagers in the seven strife-torn districts of Bastar. Across the vast swathe of Bastar, the security forces had miserably lacked the mass backing and support in their fight against the Maoists. The absence of popular assistance often leads to frustration among the troopers.
The senior police officers with their team take time off to engage with traditional Bastar cultural activities. They dine with the villagers, listen to their issues, and distribute books, clothes, sports kit, and other daily use items.
“I always believe that whichever side the people remains on, that side wins the battle. Punjab, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura have proved this point. So the people should remain at the centre when it comes to
combating Maoist ideology,” said Brigadier (Retd) BK Ponwar, director of Kanker-based Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College.
Bastar superintendent of police Arif Sheikh added that such friendly initiatives will boost the much-needed human intelligence for the police in the region and add strength to the anti-Maoist campaign.