Police have come up with a two-pronged strategy to deal with the Naxalite problem — armed action on the one hand and multiple development and welfare schemes on the other.
As part of the new policy to counter the rebels, the government has decided to organise a vikas shivir (development camp) in three of the worst Naxal-affected districts of eastern Bihar.
The first such camp was held at Bhimbandh on the border of Munger and Jamui districts on Saturday.
The new strategy is significant in the wake of a spurt in Naxalite activity in the region in the past few years.
Three districts — Jamui, Lakhisarai and Munger — have become safe hideouts for the Naxalites, who were earlier active mainly in Jehanabad, Gaya and Aurangabad districts. They shifted their activities from their old bastion after the government launched development schemes under the Aapki Sarkar Aapke Dwar programme.
Inspector-general (Bhagalpur zone) Jitendra Kumar said: “Jamui, Lakhisarai and Munger have been chosen to implement the new welfare schemes.”
Kumar said the divisional commissioner of Bhagalpur, deputy inspector-general of police (Munger range), district magistrates and the superintendents of police of the three districts would monitor the schemes. The officials would listen to the grievances of the locals and would try to redress them on the spot. Both civil and police officials would attend the camp, he said.
DIG (Munger) Sudhanshu Kumar said: “Earlier, only police personnel used to visit villages located in remote areas and that too during search operations. A number of villages inhabited by different communities are still inaccessible, as they are located on hills and are surrounded by dense forests. Now the officials will conduct janata durbars in villages to listen to grievances of the people.”
There are plans to organise employment fairs in villages as well. Gangta, a village under Havelikharagpur sub-division of Munger district, has been selected for the fair, the officer said, adding that such fairs would be held in other villagers later.
The DIG said: “Additional forces have also been deployed in the districts for carrying out special operations.”
Sources said the officials would later convince different ethnic communities to live together at a particular place. At present, the villages of the communities are scattered. A base camp of the security forces comprising personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force and the Special Task Force was set up at Bhimbandh recently. The camp would help the forces move in the area frequently and also launch special operation in villages, a senior police officer said.