New Delhi: Even as Central and state forces battle Maoists in an encounter on Wednesday and weeks after one of the worst Maoist attacks in which 26 CRPF personnel were killed in April, the Narendra Modi government is set to unleash an information offensive against the Maoist extremists by launching 24x7 channels in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand the two states worst affected by Left wing extremism. The government will also begin distributing Doordarshan DTH boxes free in the remote and interior areas of states hit by Maoist insurgency to counter the anti-India rhetoric unleashed by these elements.
At the same time there are also plans to increase the power of Doordarshan and All India Radio transmitters broadcasting terrestrial signals to these areas, a step that has been initiated after a gap of almost 15-20 years.
The move to step up the airwaves offensive against the Left wing extremists comes days after the Union Information and Broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu conducted detailed meetings with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr Raman Singh and Chief Minister of Jharkhand Rahgubar Das. It is understood that several states have called for strengthening of Doordarshan and All India Radio’s reach in the tribal dominated areas to counter the anti-India propaganda.
Sources stated that similar meetings are also likely to take place with other states affected by Maoist extremism. The country’s official broadcaster Doordarshan plans to widen its telecast coverage in the Naxal-infested pocket of these states. The minister has also given a go ahead to up grade the transmitter in the DD Kendra of Jagdalpur, the divisional headquarters of Bastar, which is hotbed Naxal violence. The Kendra 1 kilowatt (kW) transmitter is expected to he increased to 10 kW which would enhance DD coverage in Naxal belt almost 10 times.