A feather in CRPF’s ‘CAP’ in East Agency

The presence of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) only indicates that there is some major incidence of law and order in the plains or exchange of fire with Maoists or a landmine blast in a deep forest. But, the different battalions of the CRPF in Andhra, Telangana, Odisha and Chattisgarh are being involved not only in area domination to show their power and might to the enemy, but also engaged in service activity under “Civic Action Programme-CAP”.
The topper in this is the 42 Battalion which has Rajamahendravaram as its headquarters for the last three years. It was formed in 1968.
Building up trust
“We are building up trust among the tribal people with our CAP while we go for area domination programme. In the beginning they have hesitated to come nearer to us as they thought we also carry long weapons like Maoists,” said B. Veerraju, Commandant of 42 Battalion which covers Donkarai, Chintapalli, Annavaram, Maredumilli, Y. Ramavaram and G.K. Veedhi (Visakhapatnam district).
Confidence-building
Confidence-building among the tribals took between three and five years for the CRPF to achieve in all the places where area domination was carried out continuously. “At first instance the tribal’s feeling was that we are unofficial Maoists and they (naxals) are official Maoists as both are carrying long weapons and conducting operations in their villages,” said Mohan, Second-in-Command.
Commandant Veerraju said they had bitter experiences with Maoists in the recent past when they distributed food stuff, blankets and medicines in the villages.
The Maoists came to villages in Chintapalli, G.K. Veedhi and Y. Ramavaram areas and asked the tribals to bring all the stuff provided by the CRPF to one place and burnt them.
Under CAP, the CRPF had connected pipelines from water sources to villages, including Lankapakalu in G.K. Veedhi, provided computers to schools, individual latrines to some villages and girls toilets in tribal schools.
Psychological warfare
Psychological warfare to restore confidence among the tribals and reaching out to areas where civil administration has not are ways of winning the people’s confidence, said Deputy Commandants Sameer Kumar Rao, Anil Kumar and Vikram Singh Thakur who participated in medical, blood donation camps in some areas.
42nd Battalion with Rajamahendravaram as headquarters tops in conducting
welfare activities
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