Indian flag hoisted at Puvarti
Indian flag hoisted at Puvarti(Photo | Express)

Chhattisgarh: Tricolour hoisted for first time in Maoist stronghold, engage with insurgent leader's family for peace

A security camp has also been set up at Puvarti village inside the Maoist-liberated zone.

RAIPUR: Persistence and resilience were critical to success in the core stronghold of banned CPI (Maoist) for the Chhattisgarh police in the strife-torn district of Sukma, some 500 km south of Raipur.

For the first time, not just an Indian flag was hoisted by Sukma district police but a security camp has also been set up at Puvarti village inside the Maoist liberated zone.

Puvarti, around 125 km from the district headquarters of Sukma towards the Telangana border, is the dwelling of the dreaded elusive Maoist leader Madvi Hidma, chief of the military unit of People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) battalion and promoted as Central Committee member (among highest rank) of the Maoist organisation.

While pursuing measures to build a relationship between the local inhabitants and the security forces remains paramount, the Sukma district police chief Kiran Chauhan interacted with the mother of Hidma in Puvarti. The aim was to convey that the reason for the presence of forces was not to harm but to connect, inspire, raise hopes in the conflict zone and ensure development in the backward region.

Sukma SP Kiran Chauhan interacting with dreaded Maoist Hidma's mother
Sukma SP Kiran Chauhan interacting with dreaded Maoist Hidma's mother(Photo | Express)

“Initially Hidma’s mother appeared a bit anxious, later when I communicated in a local Gondi dialect taking the help of my staff as an interpreter for us, she realised there was nothing to worry about. I tried to convince her and other inhabitants of the futility of the violence unleashed by the Maoists and their hollow ideology”, Chauhan told this newspaper.

With the Tricolour unfurled and a new security camp in the Maoist hotbed, the Sukma police hoped to bridge the evident trust deficit with the tribal people.

“Quite inquisitive to learn that 80-90 inhabitants of Puvarti village, according to available information, are present in the banned outfit at higher ranks. They are across India in various positions in the CPI (Maoist) organisation”, the SP said.

The people were apprised that along with development initiatives, the various welfare campaigns of the government and basic amenities will reach the area. The locals who fled the village after the forces came to establish the camp are now said to be returning to their habitat.

The new camp is having the combined unit of the state police force and the CRPF.

Hidma is synonymous with terror in areas having substantial influence from the Red Brigade. “We strive to remove that prevailing fear from the minds of locals and also the Maoist cadres encouraging them to surrender”, the officer added.

Amid the ongoing operations in Bastar, the Chhattisgarh police endeavour to connect either directly or indirectly with the family members of the Maoist cadres with an appeal to convince them to renounce the banned outfit, shun violence and return to the mainstream.

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