ROURKELA: Maoists have no place in democracy. To spread this message among gullible villagers who are becoming easy prey to the Maoists, cops are now roping in opera troupes. The tribal population in Saranda has been the prime target of the Maoists as they are misled and often coerced into joining the banned CPI (Maoist) outfit.
Realising that police action alone cannot contain insurgency in the Maoist operational hub Saranda forest along the Odisha-Jharkhand border, the Jharkhand police have launched this unique initiative to wean away traditional forest-dwellers from the Maoists.
West Singhbhum district in neighboruing Jharkhand houses the vast Saranda forest and police of Jharkhand and Sundargarh district remain on the tenterhooks as Maoists operate from here. Sources said the West Singhbhum Police have sought the help of an opera troupe, Anupam Kala Manch, to enlighten the villagers on the issue through shows.
The troupe recently staged a play titled, ‘Bhakte Raahi’, based on the life of Maoists in the villages located on the Jharkhand side. The play depicted the condemned life of insurgents as a Maoist is denied permission to attend to his ailing sister at home. He goes against the diktat of his leader leading to a bloody climax.
West Singhbhum DSP Bikash Pandey said it was an attempt to enlighten the vulnerable population and make them realise that they are being misled by the Maoists.