Two supercops break policing stereotypes to mainstream LWE converts
Senior police officers in Jharkhand are breaking stereotypes in policing and going the extra mile, trying innovative ways to bring about changes in society they serveranchi Updated: Jun 07, 2017 12:33 IST
Senior police officers in Jharkhand are breaking stereotypes in policing and going the extra mile, trying innovative ways to bring about changes in society they serve. In this issue, HT profiles two IPS officers who have done some remarkable work in the recent past and in the process, set trends for others to emulate and follow.
Karthik S, police superintendent, Lohardaga
When Karthik took over as police superintendent of Lohardaga, it was one of the worst LWE affected districts in the state. Vast swathes of mountains and hilly terrain made Lohardaga one of the most ideal hideouts for left wing extremists. Underdevelopment, poor communication, large scale unemployment and lack of sports and recreation facilities made the youth in the countryside vulnerable to recruitment by the Maoists. Karthik realized the huge chasm existing between police and people and thought of an innovative way to engage them in a positive way.
In 2016, he launched an intra-district volleyball tournament directed police stations to choose and pick young boys from the countryside, treat them as friends, impart them training on the ‘thana’ campuses and subsequently prepare them to participate in the tournament. Hundreds of boys, who generally used to idle away time in their villages, got busy for a month and learnt a sport that eventually opened vistas for job opportunities. The tournament was given shape of a festival where both the players and the spectators in the remote district got an opportunity to experience its thrill and joy.
Organised on the lines of IPL tournament, where you had LED screens, cheer leaders, cultural dance, music and VIP visitors, entire Lohardaga appreciated the SP’s efforts for showing them a life beyond the jungles. The result of this tournament was overwhelming. A top Maoist leader came out of the jungle and voluntarily surrendered that year. This year, before the second leg of the most sought after event in Lohardaga kicked off, 11 men and women from the ultra-outfit walked out of the jungle and laid down arms. Two of their leaders, Nakul Yadav and Madan Yadav followed suit.
On the day the final match was played, top Maoist leader Ravindra Ganjhu’s wife took to the stage and appealed to her husband to surrender as she wanted to lead a normal life with him and their kids. “I am happy that my initiative is yielding desired results,” said Karthik, adding, Lohardaga has now been transformed from a Maoist hub to an ideal tourism hub.
Shailendra Kumar Burnwal, police superintendent, Pakur
He donned three different caps in as many years-- Commandant JAP -6 & IRB-2, Jamshedpur Rural SP and now police superintendent of Pakur. In all the three roles, he left an indelible impact on his team mates and the general population they served.
As JAP and IRB commandant, Burnwal used his jawans and officers to impart physical training to young boys and girls in the countryside, especially in Maoist affected areas, and groom them to secure jobs in police and security agencies.
The response was overwhelming with scores of youngsters, some of them relatives of Maoists, attending the short training sessions and going home fit, enlightened and eligible for any tough government job. Burnwal used his influence among businessmen and industrialists and helped many of them secure jobs. Many tribal boys and girls also made it to the police department. The commandant, with the help of green crusaders and his jawans, also carried out a series of afforestation drives.
Impressed by his initiatives towards environment protection, the government on Monday felicitated him with the ‘Van Ratna’ award on the occasion of World Environment Day. Transferred to Pakur last week as the police superintendent, Burnwal was cleaning the Pakur roads and ponds with local people while the award was being announced and presented by chief secretary Raj Bala Verma in Chakulia to three other recipients.
The physical training sessions helped police divert minds of youngsters from getting influenced tby left wing extremism (LWE). In fact, for the first time, youngsters began speaking out loudly against the ultras and began treating police as their friends.
“We feel rewarded when our efforts help a larger community, especially the underprivileged and marginalized ones. I am happy that the government found my work worthy for the award and recognition,” he said from Pakur, where he has announced a slew of initiatives to clean up Pakur, improve police-public communication and reach justice to last man of the society.