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No harassment of naxals' kin, says Collector

By Our Staff Reporter

ANANTAPUR, DEC. 7. The Police Department took one more radical initiative in the district on Tuesday by conducting counselling to families of surrendered naxalites and those still in the outfit, and allowing them to vent their feelings. By conducting the counselling in the name of

`Agnyatham-Swetcha' or "exile-freedom'' the police offered them to choose between the two by prevailing over their wiser counsel.

The revenue and police administration assured the naxalite-linked families that they would make all efforts to rehabilitate them. The district Collector and the Superintendent of Police also proposed to visit rural areas together frequently to understand the problems better.

Speaking at the counselling meet, the district Collector, Y.V. Anuradha, admitted that they were unable to assess the problems properly and address them in equal measure. A majority of the problems in rural areas comprised landlessness, dependency on others (parents) for survival and social inequalities, she said.

Land distribution

The Collector stated that about 8,500 acres of agricultural land would be distributed among the poor on January 26 including disbursement of pattas. Besides, they were planning to distribute another 7,000 acres land by March 31.

She told the naxal-linked families: "Life is not served on a platter to anybody. Everybody have to work hard for food, clothing and shelter.'' She assured the families of 15 surrendered naxalites and 47 serving naxalites that eligible among them would be given preference in land distribution. "It doesn't mean that help will come one's way only if they join extremism,'' she clarified.

Earlier, the Superintendent of Police, R.S. Praveen Kumar, analysed that most of the youth had taken to extremism due to land-related problems. Social inequalities, atrocities and suppression were major causes among others.

Those who had left it did so because of finding no use being there, health problems, police cases and fear for life, he said.

Admitting that police harassment too had been the case at some places he assured that cases would not be thrust upon the naxal-linked families. Those who had surrendered after 2002 need not go to courts to attend the cases. The police concerned would also be instructed accordingly not to harass them on cases.

He stated that the Government had taken the details of surrendered naxalites from the districts and the rehabilitation would come their way soon. The surrendered naxalites were living in the same conditions as they were before joining extremism, he said.

The SP appealed to the parents to tell their children still serving in dalams that the threat over their life would persist until they came out. He also cautioned them against falling into the naxalites' trap of attracting the youth by showing police as the demon.

He assured that the police would make all efforts against social discrimination, if complained to them. "Come to higher officials, if lower officials refuse to help you out,'' he told people.

The Project Director of Velugu and DRDA, M. Hari Jawaharlal, and the Lead District Manager, P. Laxminarayana, assured the naxal-linked families of all possible help. The Additional SP of Dharmavaram, Manishkumar Sinha, and several police officers attended.

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