Tamil Nadu Police 'adopt' 300 villages in bid to curb spread of Naxalism
PTI, Jan 26, 2011
THENI (TN): In a novel attempt to curb Naxal movement from spreading
its wings in Tamil Nadu, police have 'adopted' 300 villages bordering
the state and are providing them basic amenities to improve their
lives, according to a top police official.
Speaking at a function at nearby Varushanadu after distributing
welfare schemes to tribals, DGP Letika Saran said the villages would
be adopted in phases. She expressed confidence that the scheme would
thwart any attempt by Naxals to again intrude the territory after a
failed effort to set up an arms training camp at Murugamalai in 2007.
The function also saw police receive petitions from tribals to assess
their needs and being given cattle and sheep and some basic amenities
like soaps and toothpaste.
In a bid to bring about a sense of camaraderie,police had food and tea
with the tribals, assured them that their rights would be safeguarded
and urged them to educate themselves to better their prospects in
Police sources said enhanced basic amenities would be provided to 300
villages in the first phase of a total of 471 identified villages.
Villagers were being given milch animals, as also ration cards and
blankets in the hope it would help them improve their standard of
living, they said.
A top police official, requesting anonymity, said the idea took shape
after they found some villagers possessing gadgets and watches.
Enquiries revealed they had got it from Naxals, whom they used to help
enter and exit jungles, which have myriad pathways.
Two tribals Karimalai and Easwary,who received benefits, were unsure
whether villagers could provide police with information on movement of
strangers without facilities like phones. They said they were scared
of 'threats' by such people against revealing anything and sought
protection from police and help from forest officials to improve their
NGOs dealing with tribals felt the Naxal problem could be solved with
proper policing and not such schemes. Moreover, tribals should be
allowed to enjoy the forest produce and the herbs they cultivate. Only
if they move deep inside the forests would they know about movement of
naxals, they said.
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