Jharkhand: Maoist kidnappings force children to flee

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 19:48 hrs

Lohardaga: Children are migrating from Jharkhand's Lohardaga region to avoid being kidnapped and coercively recruited by Maoists.

Maoists are known to have repeatedly attacked schools to disrupt education and use children as shields during their anti-government operations.

Dinesh Nageshiya, a student, expressed anguish over the increasing Maoist activities in the region.

"Maoists ask us to get involve with them and force us to take up arms," Nageshiya claimed.

The Maoists reportedly mobilise children in the age group of 6 to 12 into their junior wing and indoctrinate, train, and use them as informers against the administration.

They use children to gather intelligence apart from deploying them on sentry duties, to make and plant landmines and bombs, and also engage them in hostilities against government forces.

Interacting with mediapersons, Sub-Divisional Police Officer Ram Gulam Sharma said that social policing has helped them to keep a track of Maoists who forcibly recruit children for armed conflict.

"The Maoists always target the children belonging to poor and illiterate backgrounds. Through police-public cooperation, we conduct policing and this has created a huge impact on the locals as the children are not ready to join the Maoist camps and they have developed their interest in studies," said Sharma.

Maoists have significantly increased their presence in tribal and rural regions in the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international voluntary forum, has been closely monitoring the recruitment of children by Maoists and views such admissions and attacks as a clear a violation of human rights.

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