Needed: anti-naxal force for quick response in Maoist-hit areas

Dakshina Kannada police have sought two platoons of the anti-naxal force (ANF) to be posted in the district for quick response in incidences in Maoist-affected areas, said Superintendent of Police S.D. Sharanappa here on Sunday.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the monthly Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes grievance meet, he said that till the platoon is posted here, the district police will use the services of the existing “anti-naxal squad” (ANS), as an ad hoc measure.

He said that 15 constables have been posted to the squad at Belthangady to follow the movement of Maoists and to improve public relations of the police forces in the Maoist-affected areas. “The squad listens to people’s grievances and gives the police feedback on what can be improved,” said Mr. Sharanappa.

ANF ‘harassment’

The need to improve public-police relations comes in the background of complaints of alleged harassment from ANF at tribal hamlets in Belthangady. At the meeting, Vittal Malekudiya of Adivasi Hakkugala Samanvaya Samiti said that ANF personnel visited the villages within the Kudremukh forest limits asking the tribal people to take the government’s rehabilitation package to shift out. “They do this when the men are out of home and only women remain. What right do the police have to tell villagers to leave?” he asked.

Shekar L., an activist from Belthangady, said that tribal youth were being “terrorised” by the ANF’s surveillance. “Shopkeepers are asked about provisions bought by villagers, and even ask the youth not to take part in protests. Relatives visiting villages are taken into questioning for hours,” he alleged.

The Superintendent of Police said that Maoism was a serious issue. He tried to assuage the activists saying, “these [police action] were enquiries and not harassment”.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 12:40:13 AM |

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