Govt corners Maoists with media campaign

Last Updated: Sunday, January 3, 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".

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 17:48

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