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Police conduct community-policing programme in Maoist-hit areas of Odisha

Rayagada (Odisha) , Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

Rayagada (Odisha), May 1 (ANI): Police personnel led by senior officers conducted a community-policing programme in Odisha's Maoist-hit Rayagada district to tackle the growing menace of the rebels.

Nua mana Nua sapana (New Minds and New Dreams) is a unique programme that has been launched by the district police to bridge the gap between the police force and the public.

According to media reports, the Maoists are now targeting children and trying to influence them to join their cadres, thus the police have attempted to raise awareness among the younger lot, as they are more gullible.

The extremists are trapping children, who are in their mere teens, and offering them a huge sum of money.

Thus, keeping this in view, the police also organised a cultural programme, with an aim to provide a platform to these children to exhibit their talent.

The residents were provided with several incentives, as part of the programme.

"Nua mana Nua sapana means new minds and new dreams, this is conceived and implemented by district police, Rayagada, as an initiative to provide a platform to the tribal students of interior areas to display their talent as well as to provide exposure to better education as well as employment facilities available around them. It is also our experience that many of the students get easily attracted by the Naxal ideology, Naxals are also in the process of raising an army of child soldiers. These types of programmes will help in countering this by raising awareness, by helping them to take informed decisions regarding their life," said Superintendent of Police, Rayagada, Anoop Krishna.

Locals reposed their faith on the police, adding that they had realised that they were organising such programmes for the benefit of the people.

"Earlier, when police would come to our village, we would feel scared, but now we know that they are not bad people. We aren't scared anymore. The police stayed with us for two days, which changed our mindset and we realised that they are also nice people," said Janita Pachika, a local.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoists as India's main internal security threat and an obstacle to higher growth.

The Maoists have fought a decades-long war against the government in a wide swathe of central and east India.

The tussle for power by the Maoists has led to a virtual breakdown of state-machinery in the villages of insurgency-hit regions, with many locals reeling under abject poverty and violence.

The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of millions of landless tribal people and marginal farmers.

Hundreds of people are killed every year in the conflict, although levels of violence have fallen in recent years. (ANI)

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