In a major initiative to win "goodwill" of tribals and choke public support for the Naxals, the government has withdrawn over one lakh cases slapped on tribals in centrally-ruled Jharkhand.
The Jharkhand government has taken the step following clearance from the Union home ministry on the recommendation of state's governor that such an action was necessary, as tribals were being harassed unnecessarily over petty issues.
The cases include stealing fruits from the forest, cutting wood, grazing cattle, hunting and entering reserved forests without permission.
"The tribals are running from pillar to post in connection with these cases. So we reviewed the issue with the state government and advised them to withdraw the cases and they did it accordingly," a home ministry official said.
"We hope that by withdrawing the cases, we would be able to win the goodwill of the tribals and they will help us in the fight against the Naxals," the official said.
The decision comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's contention that the growth of Naxalism "obliges us to look at what it is that causes the sense of alienation".
The Centre is all set to launch a massive offensive against Left-wing extremism in Naxalism-hit states like Jharkhand where majority of the population belong to the scheduled tribes.Jharkhand, under the President's rule, has been witnessing massive developmental activities during the past nine months.