Koraput: Encouraged by decline in Maoist violence in Narayanpatna area of Odisha's Koraput district, police now aims to bring people in the naxal-hit zone closer to law enforcing agencies.
As part of this effort a mega community policing programme organised in the area in which tribals from 20 nearby villages took part yesterday, police said.
The programme comprised rural sports and games, entertainment, folk dance, awareness drives and medical camps with a message against the Maoist menace apart from redressing grievances of the villagers.
"The purpose was to instill confidence in the people about police and bring misguided tribal youths to the mainstream. Villagers were made aware of anti-tribal and anti-development attitude of the red rebels," said Inspector General of Police (Sourth Western range) Yeshwant Kumar Jethwa.
The people of the region were urged to join hands with the administration to ensure all-round development, he said.
Sixteen teams of Narayanpatna block participated in volleyball tournament and thousands of villagers were treated at medical camps, organised jointly by district police and BSF. Medicines worth Rs 1 lakh were distributed, police said.
The villagers were sensitised that Maoists were the main cause of lack of development and their misery.
"Perhaps for the first time such a festive atmosphere, involving police, government officials and tribals, was created in our area. The fear of police among the people was not seen at the camp. Now, we can freely air our grievances to them," said Bankim Chowdhury, a Narayanpatna villager.
The villagers were also educated about various welfare schemes meant for them.
"During the programme, we heard about different problems people are facing in their villages. Most of them reported lack of drinking water, education and road facilities. The authorities concerned were asked look into the problems," said Koraput district Cllector Yamini Sarangi.
SP (Koraput) Charan Singh Meena and DIG (BSF) A K Sarma also attended the programme.