Police and Militia

Billboard of controversial Chhattisgarh state opposition leader Mahendra Karma, creator of Salwa Judum. He still defends it as a “Gandhian peace movement.”

Captain Rajesh Pawar, a seasoned veteran of counter-insurgency operations, points out where a Naxalite landmine killed three of his men, Dantewada district.

Teenage member of government-sponsored civilian militia en route to training exercises, Dantewada district.

Boy rides past home abandoned after Naxalite attack, near Kunta, Bastar region.

Reserve police trainees peform drill exercises during second week of training, Dantewada.

Footwear of reserve police trainees standing at attention, Dantewada.

Reserve police trainee stands at attention, Dantewada. Officers say more than ¾ of recruits will not pass muster.

Special Police Officer on watch at guard post at Rani Bodli police station, scene of a major Naxalite raid in March that left 56 security forces dead.

Young civilian militia enjoy a game of cricket in the yard of Rani Bodli police station, scene of a recent Naxalite massacre, Dantewada district.

Former Naxalite fighter who entered state rehabilitation program and later joined civilian militia, Dornapal camp.

To improve security in remote parts of the Bastar region, the goverment has sponsored civilian militia as part of Salwa Judum. Known as Special Police Officers, they are free to roam villages armed yet largely unchecked by the state.