RAIPUR: A doctor-turned-IPS officer is providing a healing touch in a remote and backward region of Chhattisgarh affected by Maoist activities even while leading anti-Naxalite operations. Dr Abhishek Pallava, a 2013-batch Indian Police Service officer, did his MD from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and is now the district superintendent of police in Kondagaon in the conflict zone
During an anti-Naxal operation, Dr Pallava and his troopers reached Nerwal village, where Pohru, the leader of a local operating squad of the Bhanpuri area committee of East Bastar Division of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) lived.
The security forces led by the SP reached Pohru’s house only to find his ailing wife and three malnourished children, who too were indisposed. Pohru, who carries a bounty of `3 lakh on his head, couldn’t be traced.
“I took out antibiotics and cough syrups, medicines that I usually keep, from my bag and gave them to them. Going by the symptoms it appeared they were suffering from TB,” Pallava told The New Indian Express.
The IPS officer also found polio-stricken children and others severely malnourished in the village, which is some 65 km from the Kondagaon district headquarters.
Pohru’s wife turned down a suggestion to seek treatment in the district hospital, fearing the police might nab her. The village headman was brought in to convince her that treatment for her illness was not available in the village she would have to visit the hospital. The police decided to arrange a vehicle for the family.
Medicines and kind words from the IPS officer fostered some trust, and the woman revealed that her husband too had become weak in recent months and had lost weight.
“To win the war against Maoists, the armed solution can’t be the only way. We should equally look for occasions to win the hearts and minds of tribal villagers, whose support is crucial in the strife-torn areas”, the officer said.