Raipur: The Bastar police in Chhattisgarh has been selected for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) award this year for its community policing initiative focusing on the rehabilitation of Naxals.
Bastar district's Superintendent of Police Arif Shaikh will receive the award in Philadelphia, US, on October 24.
"The Bastar police has been shortlisted for the community policing award in the homeland security category for 'Amcho Bastar, Amcho Police' campaign, which in tribal dialect means 'our Bastar, our police'," Shaikh told PTI.
He said the campaign has yielded better results since it was launched five months back after consultation with local officials for focusing on the rehabilitation of Naxals, specially 'Bal sangham' - the children affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
Nearly 461 Maoists have surrendered before the Bastar police so far this year, he said.
Besides, as compared to 40 incidents of Maoist violence reported in the district in 2016, only six such incidents were reported this year, he said.
Around five to six children, who were used by Maoists as 'child soldiers', were rescued by police, brought to the town and admitted to a school during the five months since the campaign started, the SP said.
More and more people are now approaching police during the camps, civic action programme and operations in the affected areas, expressing their willingness to educate their children, he said.
The police officer said that four top Naxal leaders were gunned down in the district in the last five months. This further amplified the peace process and more people came forward to forge a partnership with police, he said.
The SP said there has been 27 per cent rise in the number of tourists, including foreigners, visiting Bastar.
The surrendered cadres were being provided training in different skills, including masonry, at local livelihood colleges. Some of them were also given jobs as security guards in government-run establishments, he said.
As a part of the campaign, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Vivekanand Sinha, DIG Sundarraj P and the SP visited different villages, mainly located in Darbha region bordering with Odisha, during which interactions was held with people in 'haats' (markets), fairs and local bodies' meetings during the five months.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a 126-year-old professional association based in Virginia for law enforcement worldwide.
The IACP community policing committee every year recognises outstanding initiatives undertaken by law enforcement agencies across the world.