The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is reaching out to remote villages in the Maoist-affected Bastar region of Chhattisgarh under the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign and distributing the national flag.
CRPF officials said they have also covered villages where the national flag was never hoisted since independence due to various reasons including the Maoist threat.
The security personnel have not only asked the villagers to hoist the tricolor in their homes but also made them aware of the importance of Independence Day. The move is also helping the security forces to improve relations with the local people living in the shadow of Left Wing Extremism.
Thirty-eight battalions of Chhattisgarh’s largest paramilitary force CRPF have been deployed in Bastar for massive anti-terrorist operations. A battalion consists of about one thousand soldiers.
Chhattisgarh Sector Inspector General (CRPF) Saket Kumar Singh told PTI, “In the last one week, CRPF personnel have distributed one lakh national flags in interior villages of Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar and Sukma districts.” He said the CRPF, which has been stationed in Bastar for over a decade to fight the Maoist menace, aims to connect the tribals of remote villages with the celebration of 75th year of independence.
He said the campaign to distribute the national flag under the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign was started earlier this week and will conclude on Saturday.
Covered mostly those villages which are within 7-8 km radius around security camps and police stations. Singh said that since there are many camps in South Bastar, a large number of villages have been covered there.
“In some villages where the tricolor was never flown, the villagers were amazed to see the national flag. Their reaction was resounding as they not only received the flags with warmth but also listened patiently to the security forces when they explained to them the importance of I-day and the national flag”, said the IG. According to police officials, the banned CPI-Maoists usually call for a boycott of Independence and Republic Day celebrations in the interior areas of Bastar and hoist red and black flags to register a protest on these two occasions.
However, compared to the previous years, incidents of black flag hoisting by Maoists have come down substantially in the interior areas, he said.
Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI that the police planned to hoist the tricolor on August 15 at Elmagunda and places like Potkapalli (Sukma district), Chandameta (Bastar), Hiroli (Dantewada), Kumari (Kondagaon) and Arrah. Is. (Kanker) where the flag has never been hoisted before.
The establishment of 43 new camps in the last three years in Maoist strongholds Minapa, Galgam, Silgar, Potali, Karigundam, Kademetta, Padargaon, Pungarpal etc. has pushed the Naxalites back. This (increased presence of security personnel) has also reduced the incidents of black flag hoisting by Naxalites to almost zero, the Bastar IG said. The tricolor will be hoisted at these places with enthusiasm and patriotism.
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