MHA script for Naxal areas: aid, patriotic films

NaxalsThe ministry has granted a budget of Rs 20 crore annually to the central forces to spend in activities to woo the local population away from Maoist influence. (Reuters)

To win over the hearts of tribal villagers in Maoist-dominated areas, the central government has asked security forces there to screen movies on India's freedom struggle and great leaders.

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The forces have also been directed to provide medical help to the elderly and pregnant women — to show their humane side and win the confidence of villagers. Semi-Columns: Grey areas in anti-Naxal operations

These are among a new set of guidelines drafted at the direction of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. The Ministry of Home Affairs said the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) can also distribute transistors among the people in these areas and screen films on varied subjects such as India's history, secularism, social evils like dowry and child marriage.

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The ministry has granted a budget of Rs 20 crore annually to the central forces to spend in activities to woo the local population away from Maoist influence. "After examining the ground reality in LWE-affected areas, it has been decided that CAPF is allowed to utilise the funds with a modified items of work," reads a note sent to director generals of CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB. Centre targets hearts in anti-Naxal SOP

"The forces deployed in Naxal-dominated areas are always seen engaged in operations. Often, there is hostility towards these forces as locals never get to interact much with them. Therefore, it was decided to plan civic action by security forces which will help bridge the gap. The new list of tasks can be easily performed by the forces and will help to engage the local population," said a senior home ministry official.

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