Video | Southern California surfers unaware of nearby great whites

first_imgDANA POINT — Don’t fall.That’s what was racing through Matt Larmand’s mind as he hovered his drone over a group of hydrofoilers who were zooming around off Capistrano Beach in Dana Point Wednesday evening, Aug. 21, likely unaware they had great white sharks lingering within feet of them.Larmand was about a quarter-mile away, so he couldn’t warn the group about the sharks nearby. AdChoices广告And he couldn’t scream out when one of the riders fell into the water just feet from one of the …last_img read more

Big Science as a Leftist Front

first_img(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Take any scientific subject that overlaps with politics, and you will find the leading journals and mainstream science news organizations presenting leftist positions, often lambasting conservatives.Ideally, science is supposed to be apolitical and neutral.  But what is “science,” if not the sum total of human beings who call themselves scientists and their intellectual products?  Lizards and orangutans don’t have science.  As human beings, scientists are prone to political biases like the rest of people.  Surely there are conservatives in the ranks of scientists, but their front organizations – lobby organizations, journals and journalists, which we will call “big science” – lean predominant left, as this sample of articles shows.  It’s evident not only in the positions they take, but in the subjects they focus on – and those they ignore.   (Big science’s uniform and hostile opposition to creationism and intelligent design is so obvious, it needs no documentation in this entry.)“Gay” rights:  It might seem strange that big science—given its love affair with Darwinism that depends on reproductive success—would take any position on so-called “gay rights,” but, predictably it always advocates the leftist, politically-correct view.  Science Magazine was in an uproar that the African nation of Uganda would pass a law outlawing certain forms of homosexual behavior, calling it an “antigay law” with “draconian” meaures.  Uganda’s President Museveni signed the bill partly because of alleged scientific findings showing homosexuality is behavioral, not genetic; he was also concerned that “mercenaries” were recruiting young people into gay activities.  Live Science called the law “homophobic,” also referring disparagingly to Russia’s president Putin who has attempted to reduce gay propaganda in his country.  Then, surprisingly, writer Michael Quinn [University College London] dredged up the 200-year-old views of utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham to advance “sexual liberty” – without drawing any boundaries around what that might entail (polygamy? sexual slavery? pedophilia?).  Jeremy Bentham was no scientist.  Why were his views, and his alone, presented by this science news organization?  Why no views from the Family Research Council, for instance, which has done  extensive research on policy, law and societal ramifications of sex and marriage?The BBC News took on the challenge of trying to explain the “evolutionary puzzle of homosexuality” without making any politically incorrect statements, doing its best to portray it as a genetic condition preserved by natural selection, apparently unaware (or unconcerned) that a Darwinian explanation removes any possibility of responsibility or redemption from one’s biological predestination.  Where would they draw the line on similar explanations for other deviant sexual practices?The point is not to debate the laws of other countries, and certainly not to rationalize cruelty against any individuals or groups.  It is to ask why big science inserted itself into the moral affairs of sovereign nations, focusing on this one issue with bold headlines, presenting the leftist position that anything less than full normalization of homosexuality represents bigotry and intolerance.  Not a single conservative is represented in a favorable light.  No concern is expressed about homosexual interest groups recruiting young people away from traditional family roles—something arguably of concern to the body politic and sustainability of a population (e.g., forbidding counseling for those who want to change, adding homosexual praise in textbooks, bringing in homosexual activists to praise their lifestyle to captive audiences of children without letting parents opt out).  Is this issue alone the one needing big science’s big guns?  What about the treatment of women in Muslim countries – honor killings and stonings?  What about persecution of Christians, which is at record highs?  Is the repression of individual rights in Cuba, Iran or North Korea less deserving of attention?Global warming:  Big science is on a campaign to suppress opposition to the “consensus” view that global warming is man-caused and demands drastic mitigation efforts.  In Nature, for instance, Simon L. Lewis advocates squelching debate in the UK, claiming that “Scientist-versus-activist debates mislead the public.”  Scientists should only debate other scientists, he says, believing scientists would only disagree about details, not the consensus.  In jest, he said that one climate skeptic in particular should debate a climate advocate like the head of Greenpeace.  Ironically, the co-founder of Greenpeace—a PhD climate skeptic—presented on Fox News’s Sean Hannity show Feb. 27th a rapid-fire list of scientific reasons the consensus is wrong.  The leftist direction of his organization, he said, was the reason he left Greenpeace years ago.  (He also said he knows he would be persecuted for presenting his evidence in liberal venues.).  The journals don’t give him the time of day, but give hero treatment to the likes of James Hansen, who has become a global warming activist since leaving NASA to lead a “new climate and advocacy shop at Columbia University.”  Science Magazine let Hansen freely tell about his activist efforts without opposition, showing a big photo of him smiling.  Live Science gave ample space for IPCC scientist Michael Mann, another warming advocate, to criticize as “myths” the views of leading conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, who had stated on Fox News this week that “There is no such thing as settled science” and that he was not convinced from the science that the current warming trend is man-caused.  Mann mocked him, saying “His commentary is a veritable laundry list of shopworn talking points, so predictable now in climate change denialist lore that one can make a drinking game out of it.”  (Several conservatives have complained that the left’s derisive term “denialist” is an attempt to associate warming skeptics with Holocaust deniers.)  PhysOrg not only touted the consensus of UK and US scientists that “climate change is real,” but took a swipe at conservatives, calling them “industry-friendly” as if to impugn their motives.  PNAS was a fraction more conciliatory, suggesting that people should be allowed to “agree to disagree” on policy—provided policy to combat global warming moves forward.And yet doubts about warming or humans’ guilt for it continues to surface.  Last month in Nature, Jeff Tollefson took on the embarrassing fact that temperature has leveled off for the past 16 years.  He called “the biggest mystery in climate science today” the observation that earth is “cooler than predicted.”  Nature also pointed out that permafrost in Alaska is expanding, “probably because of vegetation springing up nearby,” forcing the editors to postpone the visible effects of warming till past our lifetimes: “the team calculates that, within 70 years, rising air temperatures will win out and cause this permafrost to thaw.”  Live Science admitted that geoengineering proposals to mitigate global warming won’t work, and could actually make things worse.  Science Daily hypothesized that climate change in the Bronze Age led to the collapse of megacities; if so, that was not due to man-caused carbon emissions in 2300 BC.  Factors not included in climate models keep accumulating, too.  Another Science Daily article reported that aerosol particles in pine forests are larger and more abundant than thought, seeming to appear out of thin air, and could have uncalculated effects on climate.  And yet dubious claims get reported, like Science Daily‘s suggestion that climate change caused the civil war in Syria.  “Climate change” (previously “global warming”) has become a default cause for numerous unrelated effects.  Conservatives do not doubt that the climate changes.  They just disagree that man has caused the latest warming trend, that warming is necessarily bad, and that scientists are the prophets they picture themselves to be.Life and Death:  As Wesley Smith details in his new book and video The War on Humans, leftist big science has an obsession with death.  Viewing mankind as a plague on the planet, some science professors and evolutionary philosophers would be only too happy to see massive die-off of Homo sapiens—an odd position for a Darwinist to take, considering that survival of the fittest is the only moral good in the Darwinian world view.  Yet some of these same leftist scientists who support abortion, euthanasia, and tinkering with human embryos get all teary-eyed over the pain of fish.  “Fish have feelings, too,” Nature wrote, advocating the abolition of a practice that might make zebrafish suffer when killed for research.  The editors wrote, “Our obligation to keep the suffering of laboratory animals to a minimum — both in life and in death — does not apply only to mammals.”  Where is that tender sensitivity when it comes to abortion?  Medical Xpress reported with clinical coolness that “One year after legalization” there have been “6,676 abortions in Uruguay” (one of the last Latin American countries to legalize the killing of unborn babies).  It has been conservatives alone, not leftists, who have uncovered the horrors of abortion clinics and tried to stop partial-birth abortion that is inches from infanticide.  To its credit, Science Daily described filicide (the killing of one’s own children) as a “heinous crime” both “horrifying” and “tragic” – but at the end of the article, sought for “biological underpinnings” of the practice, as if to justify it on evolutionary grounds or blame it on serotonin levels.Socialism:  President Obama, the most left-leaning President in American history, usually gets a pass or praise in big science.  This week, Medical Xpress reported (without critique) that “Obamacare enrollment reaches 4 million” as if to celebrate the number, even though it falls far short of expectations.  “Advocacy groups are reporting a whirlwind of activity this month as they try to enroll as many uninsured Americans as possible before open enrollment ends on March 31,” the article states supportively, only mentioning in the last sentence some of the problems conservatives have been warning about: “The administration hasn’t reported the number of marketplace enrollees who were previously uninsured,” it hides in the last lines.  “And it hasn’t said how many have paid their first month’s premium—a prerequisite for health insurance coverage.”  That’s only the tip of an iceberg of problems, lies, scandals, botched dealings and collateral damage to real people that Fox News has been detailing continuously (while holding frequent debates between supporters and opponents of Obamacare).  But if you are a conservative in the mainstream science media, watch out, if you can: Medical Xpress also gave voice to severe criticisms of the late conservative UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, blaming her conservative policies for “unnecessary and unjust premature death of many British citizens, together with a substantial and continuing burden of suffering and loss of well-being”–hardly an opinion many Brits would hold of their respected Iron Lady who participated in the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union.  Similar outrage would be hard to find in big science communications against dictators who actually kill and repress the human rights of their people: Iran, North Korea, Cuba, China, and the lot.With all this background, two writers in The Conversation can’t seem to figure out “Why do some people not care about science?”  Maybe it’s not that they don’t care about real science.  Maybe they are just disgusted with the non-stop leftist ideology being presented in the name of science.The evidence above speaks for itself.  Big science has been captured by leftists, just as have big media, big labor, big law, and big academia.  The Saul Alinsky tactics of the left appear in big science like they do elsewhere: demonize the opposition, don’t let them get a hearing, and keep telling big lies.  Individual scientists are often very decent people, just as are many decent journalists, laborers, lawyers and teachers, but their voices are suppressed by management.  Leftists are the darling talking heads for the mainstream media.  Conservatives, usually, are happy to debate.  They are glad to give both sides a decent hearing.  Here at CEH, we let the evolutionists do their best, and we provide the links so that you can check out what we report.  Leftists, though, are selfish ideologues, thinking common people are too stupid to agree with “the scientific consensus” if they were to hear opposing points of view.  Well, what does that tell you about their credibility?  Can you imagine Live Science or the BBC returning the favor and linking to our material or anything like it?  Watch out for any institution that suppresses opposition and doesn’t want you to think.  That’s totalitarian.last_img read more

Silver Spirit’s epic trek on TV

first_imgCar meets lion on a Zambian road. (Image: Silver Spirit Adventure)The adventures of South African septuagenarians Mike and Jeanette van Ginkel, who undertook an ambitious trans-Africa journey that would have daunted many a younger person, are to debut on international television in September 2009.The 10-part series, titled Silver Spirit – An Epic African Adventure, shows in the UK on Southern Direct on Sky channel 270, starting at 19h30 UK time. The first episode can be seen on Wednesday 9 September, with successive episodes following on a weekly basis.The series is also accessible via internet streaming on the Southern Africa Direct website. South African viewers will have to add an hour to the UK screening time. SA Direct has said that it is working towards getting the series onto local television stations.For those who don’t have access to Sky or a fast internet connection, the series may be purchased on DVD – enquiries may be emailed to SA Direct.Age no barrierThe elegant couple, who have been married for 53 years, decided towards the end of 2007 that age was no barrier to a life of excitement, and began to envision the ultimate road trip – a journey in their 1981 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit from Cape Town to London, via Cairo.This would be the first time a Rolls had ever made such a journey and although she only had 100 000km on the clock, a few modifications, such as a raised suspension and reinforced undercarriage, would still be necessary.Six months in the planning, the adventure took to the road at the end of March 2008. On 29 May they reached London, having negotiated 17 800km through 12 countries.Adventure clearly runs in their blood: in 1969 and 1972 the van Ginkels won the prestigious State President’s Air Race, a double win that has not been repeated. Mike ran a flying school in George for many years, while Jeanette in 1977 became the first licensed hot air balloon pilot in South Africa. Around the same time the couple started the Pioneer Balloon Club.For the epic overland trip Mike and Jeanette recruited a host of experts. For planning, support and backup they turned to veteran explorer Roger Pearce, mechanic Steve Pickering and paramedic Marc Campbell-Gibson. Filmmaker and cameraman Koos Roets, who directed the 1991 South African comedy The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman’s Finger, among other productions, came on board to capture the trip on film.A trial run over the Sani Pass, the road that connects Lesotho with KwaZulu-Natal province, proved successful. Normally the Sani Pass is accessible only to 4×4 vehicles, unless with prior approval from the administrator.Having obtained the necessary permission and made the modifications, the team set off, and the Rolls took the treacherous road in her stride, proving that she was capable of tackling the cross-continental journey.Cape to UK in 60 daysThe goal was to make the trip, which ran up the eastern side of the continent, in 60 days. The expedition set off from Cape Town on 30 March 2008, taking four days to pass through Stellenbosch, the small Victorian town of Matjiesfontein in the Klein Karoo, Kimberley, and Johannesburg.The team left South Africa on 3 April, crossing into Botswana at the border post of Groblarsbrug and spending a night in Francistown before driving to Kazangula Ferry to cross into Zambia. Here they spent a couple of days, and enjoyed a stay at the Mutinondo private game lodge in the north of the country.From Zambia the team crossed into Tanzania at the Mbeya border post. From Mbeya they travelled to Morogoro, then to Arusha in northern Tanzania – without catching a glimpse of the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro, as she was clouded over – and from Arusha to Nairobi in Kenya.From Nairobi they drove to the Sarova Shaba Lodge on the periphery of Shaba National Reserve, where they spent a few days. Sarova Shaba was at one time the home of renowned conservationists George and Joy Adamson.Still in Kenya, next they travelled to Marsabit and then to Moyale, on the Ethiopian border. After just 17 days, they were already halfway across the continent. The team spent about a week in Addis Ababa, an unfortunate delay while waiting for Sudanese authorities to approve their visas but an opportunity to explore Africa’s fourth largest city.While travelling through the Ethiopian highlands on the way to Sudan, the team recorded a record high altitude of 3 109m above sea level, higher even than the Sani pass. Soon after, they crossed the Nile river, and from the ancient city of Gondar in northern Ethiopia, they headed for the Sudanese border.By that stage the Silver Spirit was taking some strain and suffering from a leaky radiator and loose engine mountings, among other glitches. But she pushed on and they made it to historic Khartoum, where they spent five days having the car repaired – and enjoying some South African fare in the form of fast food chains Steers and Debonairs.Heading for EuropeOn day 29 it was back on the road, heading for Wadi Halfa, on the Egyptian border, via Dongola. They encountered another delay getting into Egypt, as the cars were held back for an extra few days, and they were forced to spend some time in Aswan.Finally the cars were released and they hit the roads of Egypt, driving along the Nile to the ancient city of Luxor and from there to Port Ghalib on the shore of the Red Sea, Hurghada, and finally Cairo – 42 days after setting out.Once there they met Cairo governor Abdul Azim Wazir and presented him with a letter of goodwill given to them by then Cape Town mayor Helen Zille, now premier of the Western Cape.After a few days’ rest in Cairo it was off to Alexandria, where the cars were loaded into containers for the ferry crossing to Naples. The team travelled back to Cairo and flew to Rome, where they were able to spend a few days sightseeing in Naples, Pisa, Florence, Capri and Pompeii before the arrival of the cars.The cars were finally good to go on day 55 and the drive straight across Europe began. From Naples the team drove up to Maranello, then Cannes, over the world’s highest bridge at Millau, through Arras and Calais, and finally arrived on schedule in Goodwood in south-east England, the modern home of Rolls Royce. After 60 thrilling days the historic trip was over, and it was time to relax.The team arrived back in South Africa on 26 June, day 89, after travelling around the UK and Wales and attending an annual rally with over 1 000 other Rolls Royces.last_img read more

How to Find Beauty in the Ordinary with Filmmaker Mathieu Provost

first_imgLets take a look at how to capture amazing footage in everyday situations with these insights from professional video producer Mathieu Provost.As filmmakers and video producers we’re often forced to shoot in less-than-ideal situations. It’s not uncommon to have to shoot in an ugly office, echo-filled room, or dark interior. But good filmmakers know how to bring out the best in every situations. Through creative camera work and a fundamental knowledge of composition you can get extraordinary shots in everyday locations.One filmmaker with a keen eye for finding beauty in everyday situations is Mathieu Provost. The Canadian filmmaker uses a combination of everyday filmmaking tools to draw out hidden beauty in seemingly everyday locations. I recently came across Mathieu’s aerial reel on Vimeo and was instantly blown away by the footage quality.In fact, one of the most impressive things about the work that Mathieu is doing is the fact that it is seemingly everyday work, yet the result is amazingly striking footage. His setups aren’t complex or expensive. I asked Mathieu a few questions about his work and he was kind enough to share his insights with us.Q&A with Mathieu ProvostWhat tools do you use to capture your amazing footage?On a shoot I always bring two cameras, different lenses, and, of course, the drone. I have the regular phantom made by DJI, but most of the time I prefer the DJI Inspire 1. More powerful, more stable, and more variety of lenses as well. On the ground, I always have my Sony a7RII with the 70-200 and 24-105. My colleague also uses the Canon lens 11-24 for really wide and cool shots on the ground with glide cam. And, of course, slider and tripod!How much of your cinematography is planned out before the day of the shoot? Before each shooting (ground and in flight) I really like to go on Google Maps to check the exact location of the shoot and the environment around. That will help me to know a few things about the area (permit needed, obstacles, etc.) Also, if we can have access to the location, I will go first by myself and take pictures of the environment, beauty shot, sun position, and everything related to the shoot. I also try to find information on the web about the location, the stories… Once I’m back home, the movies start playing in my head… Visualization for me is the key. I also produce a production plan/document with the different kind of footage I imagined, and information that I think is important on the location etc. Once we are there, it’s easier to follow this kind of bible to make sure that we covered every aspect. We are also really sensible for each little intuitive moment that can happen on a set. Sometimes, theses moments are keepers for sure.You’re exceptionally good at finding hidden beauty in everyday moments. How can other filmmakers develop an eye for shooting great shots in everyday situations?Life is full of small moments that we can immortalize with our camera. I think that each person has their own way to see the world and be amazed by little things. That’s how the images will show on a film. I had this gift in my life to find everything nice around me. I always look everywhere in case that I found the perfect amount of light, the perfect amount of wind, etc… For me, each situation, each moment, each flower, each river deserves to be on film with their beauty. The only thing I can say is just look around you. I don’t think we can learn how to be sensible for things. Challenge yourself by creating a nice video with small little things around you. Do you have any tips for someone looking to shoot awesome drone footage?The more you shoot, the more comfortable you will be when flying your drone. You need to know your drone by heart. You need to know your limit and your drone’s limit as well. Play with the sunset and sunrise, play with trees, with textures, rivers, etc… And the most important, fly your drone smoothly and slowly on any shots. For me, smooth and slow is the key… Bring your viewers somewhere else.If they take time to watch your video, give them at least a free ride, a free flight with emotions. Take your time to shoot. You never know if you will have the chance to come back where you are and in the same light situation etc. Sometimes I use the entire battery lifetime on filming only one shot! So almost 20 minutes! I want to have the perfect shot for me, for my eyes, for the vision I have at that perfect moment. Also, try to film different points of view to do variety into your shot. I also really like to include ground shots with drone shots.How do you determine your color palette when grading?I usually don’t use a lot of color correction in post. I really like natural colors and clean images. I play a lot with the natural effect of light, golden hour, etc. Contrast and saturation sometimes, but most of my video doesn’t have any color correction… Or almost.What role does music play in telling your videos story?For me, the most important thing in cinema is the choice of the music. This will drive all your images, the feeling you want to demonstrate, and, of course, the sensibility. Sometimes I can spend hours searching for music. All that time spent will make the difference at the end. Before filming, I was a music composer for TV commercials, short films, and other commercial stuff.In my time off, I was always playing with World War footage. I was trying to reproduce different kinds of music on the same footage (classical and heavy metal) to show people the important place that music can have in a film. When you have a chance, try this test at home. You will find that combining World War footage and classical music is almost artistic.What resources/websites/courses have helped you the most as a filmmaker?Our X generation is really lucky to have all the internet options/access to learn from everywhere and from everybody in the world. I really take advantage of this every time I can. I think that everybody needs to learn from different tutorials, at least the basic rules of film and/or photo. YouTube and Vimeo have been great friends for me, of course!When we want to buy new equipment, we check all reviews before to make sure we have the best possible gear for our need, etc.  I also spent a lot of time with really good cinematographers that share the same vision that I have… I learned bags of information with these people, for sure. Don’t be shy about asking questions. When you have your answer, work on it, try to find information on it, try different ways to practice, etc. Practice makes perfect, there is no doubt! This sentence will help you to understand more the vision I have about filmmaking… I read this quote a few years ago: “Work until your idols become your rivals.”What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a filmmaker?All filmmakers have their own way to learn. For me, learning from people, experience, and technique and, of course, practice was the key. Be curious. If you have questions, ask people or go find by yourself what you looking for on YouTube, Vimeo or other platform available to you. Also, be patient… There are thousands of filmmakers all around the world who produce fantastic footage…But one day, somebody will knock at your door to tell you that your work is also fantastic… That was my case a few days ago with the PremiumBeat team. So everything is possible. Be respectful for the talent you have in life… This is a gift. You need to feed it with passion.Where can people go if they want see more of your work?Subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube, follow us on Twitter and Facebook channel. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have! Have any questions for Mathieu? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Held ‘positive interaction’ with villagers opposing Dantewada security camp, say police

first_imgA day after the police fired in the air to disperse 500 villagers descending on a security camp in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh to oppose it, the police on Wednesday claimed they held a “positive interaction” with those residing within the camp’s security perimeter.“There is a remarkable change in the approach of the villagers of Potali. Women and children in particular turned up at the security camp and held a positive interaction with troops,” says Sundarraj P., Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range).Carrying bows, arrows and axes, residents of Potali, 56 km from Dantewada and neighbouring villages on Tuesday confronted security personnel head-on to oppose the permanent security camp that was set up there on November 11. As the situation seemed to have spiralled out of control during discussions between villagers and the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police, the police fired blank rounds in the air to disperse the crowd.  Mr. Sundarraj claimed villagers were under duress to launch an agitation. “Maoists mobilised villagers to protest against the camp. They didn’t have any other option but to take part. Otherwise, they would be killed,” he says.Strategic locationThe camp is of strategic importance for the forces as it falls in the volatile Aranpur region, which forms a connecting corridor between the Darbha division and South Bastar division for Maoists, explains Mr. Sundarraj.“That’s why Maoists are trying their best to derail our efforts in setting up a camp. It’ll be tough for their Malangir area committee to continue its activities once operations begin here,” he adds.“The area is considered a Maoist bastion,” says Devhans Rathore, Sub-Divisional Officer of Police, Kirandul. “When the situation got tense on Tuesday, we fired eight-ten blank rounds which made villagers run helter-skelter.” | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement Members of the District Reserve Guard interacting with villagers of Potali in Dantewada on November 13, 2019  According to the police, the development of the region is the “main antidote for the Maoist menace”. Therefore, under the Trust-Development-Security model, the police plans to win over locals through credible and transparent policing, speed up road construction and rehabilitate Maoists willing to surrender.However, Joga Poyam, vice-sarpanch of Potali, asserts the protest was independent and Maoists did not force them to take part. “Villagers are scared. They get caught in the crossfire between Maoists and security forces each time and bear the cost. Sometimes, when the police are unable to catch Maoists, they come for us.”Tribal women, who practise the age-old tradition of fetching wood and leaves from forests, do not want to be harassed by troops, he says. “Resentment is simmering in the village. We’ll continue our agitation.”On Wednesday, during discussions between neighbouring panchayats and security forces, villagers demanded they not be harassed or intimidated while going to fields, located as far as 5 km away in the hills, and markets.“They told us they had not set up the camp on our land but government’s, and that they won’t trouble us,” says Mr. Poyam. “They agreed with us and want to part of the development process,” says Mr. Rathore. “We told them we’re there for their own safety. If they don’t do anything anti-social, we won’t trouble them. If they need anything, they can come to us. Our doors are open.”’When will militarisation come to an end?’This being the fourth locals-led protest in a month against security camps in the Bastar region, Bela Bhatia, lawyer and social activist, believes that at the bottom of all of it lies the question: when will militarisation of the region come to an end?“Aranpur station area is already notorious for numerous fake encounters,” claims Ms. Bhatia. “Now they are moving even closer to locals, and they don’t want the camp there because they have been at the receiving end of fake encounters, sexual assault and arbitrary arrests for years.”Often, those living close to camps were arbitrarily stopped and questioned while going to fields and markets, she alleges.Ms. Bhatia believes the District Reserve Guard (DRG), composed mainly of surrendered Maoists, is now at the forefront of the anti-Maoist strategy of the police, while paramilitaries have faded in the backdrop.“Sometimes, they are deployed in areas where they were earlier active as Maoists. This helps them identify those who had attended meetings or given Maoists food back then. Meanwhile, it’s unclear whether these people still take part in such activities to the same extent or not,” she says.It is unclear whether their participation in such activities is voluntary or not in the first place as villagers are not in a position to say no to Maoists, she adds. “These protests, as I see it, is also due to the fear of an increased presence of the DRG in the area.”Mr. Sundarraj says typically a camp is set up by the DRG and the police. Later, if the situation warrants, paramilitaries can be moved in.last_img read more