Maoists’ new diktat - kids should attend school, not work

June 10th, 2009 - 4:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, June 10 (IANS) Maoist guerrillas in Bihar have issued a new and unique diktat - they have ordered poor villagers in Vaishali district to send their children to school.
In a novel move to spread education among the marginalised sections of society, Maoists in Vaishali, about 40 km from here, have asked the poor to educate their children instead of making them work.

“Maoists also warned them not to engage children in farm or other work and send them to schools,” a villager in Patepur block said.

Patepur is one of the over half a dozen blocks in the district that has been issued the diktat by the rebels. The other blocks include Mahnar, Jandaha, Mahua, Lalganj and Hajipur.

Maoists have pasted hand-written posters in several villages in which they have threatened to punish villagers if they failed to send their children to school.

The latest Maoist diktat has surprised district officials.

“It is a positive move if the Maoists are really keen to force poor parents to send their children to school,” a district official said.

In rural Bihar, government school buildings are often soft targets for Maoists guerrillas. Hundreds of school buildings have been blown up by the rebels in the past.

Maoists have a strong presence in over a dozen districts of Bihar as well as in neighbouring Jharkhand.

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