KOLKATA: Not bullets or sophisticated weapons but co-operation will be the new mantra of the West Bengal police to combat Maoists in the districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Puruliya, where the naxal guerilla enjoy a stronghold.
The police authorities in these three districts have undertaken a full-fledged interaction drive with locals with the aim of taking them into confidence, said inspector general (law & order) of West Bengal police, Raj Kanojia.
In a chat with DNA, Kanojia said there are basically two aims behind this interaction drive by the police. "Firstly, we want to separate the locals from the Maoists and this we will do so by proving that we are their better friends.
"Secondly, once we have won the locals' confidence, we hope to secure information from them about Maoist movement in these three districts. I am sure that such an initiative will reap rich dividends," he said.
Talking about the drive, Kanojia said, "We selected around 200 children from the area, accompanied them and brought them to Kolkata for a pleasure trip. They were taken sight-seeing around the city and to places that they had heard about and wanted to see. It was a pleasure for both the children as well as the police personnel accompanying them."
Police authorities have also begun to run primary schools in West Midnapore, Bankura and Puruliya, that has become an instant hit with the locals and which according to Kanojia has helped strengthen their ties with them.
He also pointed out that sport has become yet another medium of interaction between locals and district police.
"We are organising regular tournaments, where both local and district
police personnel participate," he said.