In Maoist zone, a launchpad for youth into security forces

National

Santosh Kumar Yadav, 21, made up his mind to join a security force in 2006, after Maoists had killed his father and elder brother and torched their house at Aathan village in Adhaura Hills on the suspicion that the family was helping the police.

Preparing for competitive examinations was, however, easier said than done. Newspapers would arrive late, and he could not afford a coaching institute at Bhabhua or Patna. He was thinking of abandoning his dream for farming when the Kaimur district police in September provided him with the opening he needed.

"Adhaura Super 30" is for youths of the 200-odd Naxal-hit villages of Adhaura Hills, site of a constant battle for dominance between OBC Yadavs and ST Kharbars. Santosh was among 45 chosen for the first batch that prepared students for the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examination. The two-month course taught students mathematics, English, general knowledge, reasoning, science subjects and also gave physical training to matriculates such as Santosh.

Santosh recently cleared the test that qualified him to join as a constable with ITBP. His batchmate Ram Babu Ram has qualified for a constable's job with CRPF. So have Awadesh Ram and Sant Kumar Singh, while 20 other students are waiting for their results in several competitive tests.

The district police started training the second batch last month with 150 youths, several of them tribal.

Adhaura is in Kaimur district, which has been declared 100 per cent Naxal-hit and is one of the Bihar districts selected for security-related funds from the Centre. Its additional SP (operations), Manoj Kumar Yadav, has been on deputation from the BSF since 2010. Along the 57-km climb up the Adhaura Hills from Bhabhua, he describes the Maoist influence. He points out a number of "dangerous points" and the attractive 60-metre Tilhar waterfall that, despite its rare rock paintings, has not been getting tourists for fear of Maoists. A 12-km stretch from Karar to Tala villages, with bad roads for 10 km, is prone to landmine blasts, he says.

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