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High alert across Naxal-hit states
New Delhi/Lucknow, Apr 7 (PTI)
Published on 7 Apr. 2010 11:41 PM IST
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The police in Maoist-hit areas of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra were on Tuesday put on high alert and patrolling intensified in the wake of the massacre of 75 securitymen in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.
“All police stations and camps have been asked to be on maximum alert and personnel directed to intensify patrolling and vigilance, particularly in three Maoist-hit districts of Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia,” West Bengal IGP (Law and order) S Purkayastha said in Kolkata. Additional security steps have been taken in Maoist-hit areas as instructed by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram during his weekend visit here, Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty said.
An alert was sounded also in Naxal-hit districts of Bihar and all Superintendents of Police there were asked to step up combing operations against Maoists, DGP Neelmani said, adding all precautionary measures were being taken in 16 of the 38 districts of Bihar that are affected by the left-wing extremism. Andhra Pradesh DGP R R Girish Kumar said police had been told to be specially vigilant in the districts bordering Chhattisgarh, Orissa and particularly Andhra-Orissa-Bihar region.
In Jharkhand, high alert has been sounded across the state where 18 of the 24 districts are hit by Maoists. Police in Naxal-hit districts of Orissa, where the Maoists killed 11 policemen earlier this week, were put on high alert following the Chhattisgarh incident, said Home Secretary A P Padhi.
Maharashtra police also tightened vigil at all Naxal-affected regions, particularly eastern part of Vidharba. Superintendent of police (Ghadchiroli) S Jaikumar said an alert was issued especially in the region and areas bordering Chhattisgarh. Police have been told to guard against IED and land mines, he said.
A fresh alert has been issued in Uttar Pradesh’s Naxal-hit districts of Mirzapur, Chandauli and Sonbhadra, which shares its border with Chattisgarh, and close to 900 of Central Para Military Force personnel and more than 1600 men of Provincial Armed Constabullary have been deployed there, Additional DGP (Law and Order) Brij Lal said in Lucknow.
“We are on alert but after today’s Naxal attack in Chattisgarh vigil has been stepped up further,” he said. In Madhya Pradesh an alert was sounded in the Naxal-affected districts following the Chhattisgarh incident.
“The Inspector Generals of Balaghat, Shahdol and Rewa ranges have been asked to intensify vigil in the Naxal-affected districts and places close to states where the ultras have indulged in killings recently,” a senior police official said.
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil said an alert has been issued in naxal-affected Gondia and Gadchiroli districts of the state. “Police and CRPF in the Naxal-affected districts have been alerted following today’s attack,” Patil told reporters at Vidhan Bhavan here tonight. Weapons are not the only solution for fighting Naxals, Patil said, adding “development of the affected areas should also be taken on priority.”
25 slain CRPF men flown to Lucknow
The bodies of 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were brought here by a special aircraft Wednesday afternoon, a day after they were killed in a Maoist strike in Chhattisgarh.
Of the 75 CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the attack along with a Chhattisgarh policeman, 42 belonged to Uttar Pradesh.
“While 25 of the bodies have been brought from Jagdalpur to Lucknow, the rest would be flown by the same aircraft to Delhi, from where they would be carried to different destinations in western Uttar Pradesh, where they hailed from,” state Additional Director General of Police Brij Lal told IANS while waiting for the aircraft at Lucknow airport.
Lal, who received the 25 bodies with full police honours, said they will be sent to the homes of the slain paramilitary troopers.
He said: “CRPF has provided us with a list of the names and addresses of the victims and we have issued necessary instructions to the district police chiefs concerned to ensure every assistance to the bereaved families.”
Air power against Maoists yet to be decided says PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said the government reviewed from time to time various options to fight Maoists, including the use of air power, and is yet to take a final decision.
“I think, the policy has to be reviewed from time to time in the light of experience. But we are too close to the event to take a view that the existing policy needs to be modified,” Manmohan Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the Padma awards investiture at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
He was asked about the government’s strategy to counter the Maoists in the wake of Tuesday’s massacre of 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in the forest of Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district Tuesday.
“As of now, we have not taken any view in this direction. But all these are options, which are kept under continuous review,” he said, when asked specifically about the use of air force which Home Minister P. Chidambaram had hinted at.
Chidambaram, who attended a memorial ceremony for the 75 CRPF personnel in Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, said: “At present there is no mandate to use the air force or any aircraft, but if necessary we will have to revisit the mandate and make some changes.”
Hundreds of Maoists trapped over 80 CRPF personnel on a hilly stretch in Dantewada district Tuesday morning and went on a killing spree using pressure bombs and automatic weapons.
In no time, at least 75 CRPF men and a Chhattisgarh police officer lay dead in the area where the rebels have run a de facto state for decades.

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