Police in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district have started a school for surrendered Naxals who are now part of the force, an official said Sunday.
Narayanpur Superintendent of Police Mohit Garg said the school, with three teachers and over 300 surrendered ultras, had started functioning about a month ago in the Police Line area in Narayanpur town.
“Most surrendered cadre could not study because their schools were destroyed by Maoists. Some were forced to drop out of school to join the Naxals. After joining the police force, they expressed a desire to study,” Garg told PTI.
The aim is to get these surrendered Naxals connected with the outside world and to boost their confidence through education, Garg said, adding that such a move would be their “actual rehabilitation”.
“It would also help them get promotions going forward and better the condition of their families. Their behaviour towards the public will also improve,” he said.
They have been divided into three groups, the ones who are illiterate, those who had studied till Class V and the third comprising those who have cleared Class VII, the SP said.
“Most of the 300 personnel who have enrolled in the school are illiterate. They are posted in the District Reserve Guard, an anti-Naxal force in Chhattisgarh. They will appear in open school examinations. Besides three regular teachers from the state Education department, policemen are also conducting classes,” Garg informed.
The results are showing with Naxal-turned- policeman Amar Potai (30) telling PTI that his dream to become literate was now coming true.
“I can read and write. Bastar has been fighting a Maoist insurgency for almost three decades. The disruption resulted in many like me remaining illiterate,” Potai, presently a constable, said.
Potai had joined the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) at a young age and had surrendered in 2012.
“I want to study as it will help me rise up the ranks of the police and also help me teach my children,” Potai said.
Similar is the case with Sumitra Sahu (32) who surrendered last year.
She said she went to school only for two years in her village Karenar, located in Abhujmad here, once a Maoist stronghold.
“Armed Naxals destroyed my school. Later they took me along to join the outfit. It is said that life offers a second chance. I am happy at getting an opportunity to study again,” Sahu said.