A special welfare programme has helped Rohtas police make inroads into Kaimur hills, the epicentre of Maoist activities in the bordering districts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
The police organised Operation Vishwas for the residents of Soli and its adjoining villages on the hills on Wednesday. Till recently, the rebels used to run a parallel administration in about 30 villages on the 55-km-long stretch between Akbarpur in Rohtas and Adhaura on the Kaimur plateau, around 170km southwest of the state capital.
Rohtas superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said Operation Vishwas was launched in the Maoist-dominated villages of the district to win people’s confidence. “Whenever you need our help, we will be there,” Maharaj said, adding that such programmes would be held from time to time.
As part of the community policing programme, the police distributed 500 blankets, 200 saris, 200 dhotis and 50 lanterns, apart from sports and educational kits, among the villagers.
A cultural show was also held on the occasion.
Most residents said they had not seen any police or administrative official visiting their villages in the past several decades.
“Such a function has been organised by district police officials for the first time in the past 50 years,” said Laxman Oraon, sarpanch (head) of Soli panchayat. He added that the Maoists dominated the entire area and the villagers were forced to follow their diktat.