New Delhi: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has launched a culture course which includes training of its troops in dialects, customs, and traditions practiced by both the tribals and locals in Jharkhand so as to gather information against Naxals which in turn will help build a connection with the people of the region.

The CRPF has decided to teach their troops about the normal routine of the tribals which also includes a special visit to the weekly fairs and cultural programmes of the locals. According to Inspector General (Operations) of CRPF Jharkhand Sanjay A Lathkar, it is the basic lack of knowledge among the troops which makes it difficult for them to gather information about the Naxals.

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.”

The initial training will include at least 60 personnel in each of the battalions in understanding the local dialects of the state such as- ‘ho’, ‘santhali’, ‘nagpuri’, ‘kurukh’, ‘sadri’, ‘bhojpuri’ and a few others apart from learning the customs and traditions of the tribals. These personnel who will have received the training, will in turn train the other men in their own units and hence it’ll help in establishing a bond between the security officials and the locals.

“We have also purchased books written in the ‘ho’ language that is used to train the personnel. Troops under this training are also sent to a weekly fair called ‘shani parv’ to observe customs, traditions, eating and sartorial habits of tribals and locals, the CO 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.”

It is now planned that 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.

The Central Reserve Police Force (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.