| Artistes perform street play Nidaan in Patna on Thursday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Police have decided to hold nukkad natak (street play) and corner meetings in Naxalite-hit areas of the district in a bid to persuade the rebels to join the mainstream.
Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaj, fresh from the success in weaning away Maoists in Rohtas district, has now decided to use the same carrot and stick policy in Patna for the first time.
Maharaj said a group of young artistes, including women, have been hired to publicise the state government’s surrender and rehabilitation policy for the Maoists and enthuse the cadres to join the mainstream.
Members of Prayas, a cultural troupe, would visit the Maoist-hit villages in remote areas and perform nukkad natak to make the masses aware of violence unleashed by the rebels.
At the same time, they would apprise the people of the benefits given to the dependents of those cadres, who have surrendered before the police under the government’s rehabilitation policy.
Around 30 police stations of Patna falling under its Masaurhi and Paliganj divisions have been identified as Maoist-hit.
On Thursday, the members of the cultural troupe performed the first show of the play, Nidaan, at the SSP’s office in the presence of police officers. The play written by Satyendra Swami received applause from the spectators.
The troupe members would work under the guidance of additional superintendent of police (operations) Anupam Kumar. Kumar said the motive behind the launch of the cultural shows was to depict the plight of the families trapped in the Maoist fold and convince them to shun violence.
Mithilesh Singh, director of Prayas, which is affiliated to the information and broadcasting ministry’s song and drama division, said: “I feel proud in performing plays aimed at bringing about social reforms and related to highlight social evils plaguing the society.”
Singh was, however, apprehensive about the security of the members of the organisation. “We have engaged 10-12 persons, including young girls, who would perform shows in the villages considered to be the stronghold of rebels,” he said.
The SSP said: “Our motive is not to allow Maoists to spread their tentacles and counter them at every level.”
A senior police officer, however, said: “There are some flaws in the play, which should be corrected.”