CRPF to gel with tribals in Jharkhand; launches language course for better intelligence

Initially about 60 personnel from each battalion would be trained in understanding and speaking local dialects of the state like ‘Ho’, ‘Santhali’, ‘Nagpuri’, ‘Kurukh’, ‘Sadri’, ‘Bhojpuri’ and few others.

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Initially about 60 personnel from each battalion would be trained in understanding and speaking local dialects of the state like ‘Ho’, ‘Santhali’, ‘Nagpuri’, ‘Kurukh’, ‘Sadri’, ‘Bhojpuri’ and few others.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), in first of its kind project, has begun training its troops in dialects, customs and traditions practised by tribals and locals in Jharkhand. This initiative is a part of a special program aimed to gather vital intelligence against Naxal operatives and build solidarity with the local population.

The CRPF is the lead anti-Naxal operations force in the country and has deployed 20 battalions (about 20,000 troops) in the tribal dominated state to conduct armed operations against the Left Wing Extremists (LWE) or Maoists.

To start with, the force has decided to impart basic knowledge about the ‘way of life’ of tribals to at least 1,200 troops as part of a capsule course that also entails a special visit to weekly fairs and cultural programmes of the local area.Speaking to news agency PTI, Inspector General (operations) of the CRPF in Jharkhand, Sanjay A Lathkar said “We are deployed in the remotest locations of the state where a jawan and officer has interaction with tribals and locals of the area on a regular basis. Due to lack of knowledge of the local dialect it is very difficult to gather information and also to conduct civic welfare programmes for locals and hence this initiative was thought about.”

Initially about 60 personnel from each battalion would be trained in understanding and speaking local dialects of the state like ‘ho’, ‘Santhali’, ‘Nagpuri’, ‘Kurukh’, ‘Sadri’, ‘Bhojpuri’ and few others apart from learning the customs and traditions of the tribals, the IG said.These personnel will further train more men in their units and this will go a long way in establishing a friendly and trust bond between security forces and locals, he added.

Security forces have acknowledged that not knowing the local knowledge in LWE violence affected states has been one of the biggest obstacles. This initiative will soon be implemented by central security forces in other states hit by LWE violence like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

CRPF’s 197th battalion based in the Saranda forests of Jharkhand has taken the first lead and has begun a capsule course for these subjects. “We have roped in expert trainers who are school teachers and officer bearers of local cultural organizations to train our personnel,” Commanding Officer (CO) of the battalion Parma Shivam said.IG Lathkar said they are very hopeful that “in few years this initiative will give the security forces good dividends in making friends with locals, winning their trust and getting intelligence and information against Naxal operatives and groups.”

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Initially about 60 personnel from each battalion would be trained in understanding and speaking local dialects of the state like ‘Ho’, ‘Santhali’, ‘Nagpuri’, ‘Kurukh’, ‘Sadri’, ‘Bhojpuri’ and few others.
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The Policy Times
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