Govt corners Maoists with media campaign
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Last Updated: Sunday, January 03, 2010, 17:48
New Delhi: With the catchline "who is against development?", the government is hitting at Naxals with a media blitzkrieg by putting out an advertisement in national and regional newspapers about the destruction of vital infrastructure by Maoists.

The advertisement carries photographs of a bridge and railway wagons damaged by the Maoists through their subversive activities and full particulars of the telephone towers, school buildings and railway properties destroyed by the extremists during 2009. Through the advertisement, the Home Ministry wanted to highlight the Naxal menace, its impact on people and society.

"Who is against development?" the advertisement questions people, in an attempt to isolate the Maoists.

It says that during 2009, the Naxals destroyed 38 railway properties, 53 telephone towers, 20 panchayat buildings, 47 schools buildings and 121 forest buildings, roads and culverts.

This was for the second time that the Home Ministry has come out with such an advertisement in three national and several regional newspapers (in Naxal-affected states) against the Maoists and the latest one is part of government's larger media plan to corner the Naxals and convince people about the ill-effects of Left-wing extremism.

"We wanted to expose the true colours of the Maoists before the nation because many people still believe in the ideology of the Maoists," a Home Ministry official said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, too, had said recently that despite its sanguinary nature, the movement manages to retain the support of a section of the tribal communities and the poorest of the poor in many affected areas.

"It has influence among certain sections of the civil society, the intelligentsia and the youth. It still retains a certain elan.....," Singh had said.

The first advertisement, with photographs of seven people, included a four-year-old child who were killed by the Maoists in a gruesome manner, was also published in leading national regional newspapers in September 2009. Its catchline was: "Look at these innocent people -- victims of Naxal violence. Naxals are nothing, but cold-blooded murderers".


First Published: Sunday, January 03, 2010, 17:48

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