Jamshedpur, March 17: The mainstay of ongoing operations against Maoists, the CRPF has simultaneously initiated efforts to win over hearts and minds of local tribals by offering them jobs.
Always in need of bugle players, cooks, barbers, tailors and water carriers, the CRPF held a recruitment camp at Sumant Moolgaonkar Stadium at Telco on Sunday and as many as 300 aspirants trooped in.
The idea was to keep it simple, said CRPF commanding officer Sanjay Kumar Singh. Interested tribals — they should have cleared matriculation — did not have to put in an application. All they needed to do was appear for a written test, the results of which would be declared next month.
As many as 100 people are expected to be hired in the first phase.
To encourage local tribals to participate, Singh said the CRPFs VIIth battalion initiated a public campaign in targeted areas in the twin districts of Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan.
Beside publishing advertisements in vernacular dailies, our jawans spoke to villagers while carrying out community policing initiatives. We tried to convince villagers that our doors were open for those who wanted to serve the force, Singh said.
A majority of those who attended Sundays recruitment drive were from Ghurabandha, Dumaria, Ghatshila and Musaboni blocks of Ghatshila sub-division in East Singhbhum where security forces, including the CRPF, and Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), had stepped up their anti-rebel offensive.
If the idea was to woo tribal youths in Naxalite-infested areas of Singhbhum, then the numbers indicated the mission was successful. CRPF officers were now thinking of holding more such job marts throughout April, but were yet to be decided where.
In the Jhumra hills of Bokaro, along with Nawadih and Uparghat areas where operations were in progress, the CRPF initiated various initiatives to win over local villagers. At the hillock, which houses around 80 villages with a total population of over 20,000 people, the CRPF has been helping out with water supply, medicines and even telephone facilities.
CRPF Special DG and commander of the anti-Naxalite task force Vijay Raman reached the state capital this evening to review the progress of Operation Greenhunt which DGP Neyaz Ahmed confirmed had been extended to four more districts.
Ahmed, who refused to name the districts, however said patrolling had been stepped up in the Jhantijharna and adjoining areas of East Singhbhums Ghatshila sub-division.
About 8-10 companies of Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) and the CRPF have been deployed in these areas.