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Maoists mined forests: Police
RAIPUR, MAY 9 (IANS)
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Published on 9 May. 2010 11:55 PM IST
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A day after eight paramilitary troopers were killed in a landmine blast by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, a top police official said the guerrillas have massively mined the state’s forested areas and it was difficult to de-mine the vast stretches without the technology required.
“The big problem is we have no technology and resources to de-mine the massive forested pockets. Without taking out landmines it’s literally impossible to go after them freely in thickly forested areas where Maoists are always ready with a booby trap,” Director General of Police (Chhattisgarh) Vishwa Ranjan said Sunday. Eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed Saturday when Maoist guerrillas blew up their vehicle in Bijapur, nearly 480 km south of state capital Raipur.
The bullet-proof vehicle was blown up in the Koretal forested stretch. A CRPF personnel and two civilians were injured in the blast. The coffins of the eight slain CRPF men were Sunday brought to Raipur.
They were offered floral tributes and given gun salutes in Mana area on the outskirts of the city after their post-mortem examination was completed at the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Government Hospital here. Saturday’s blast comes just a month after 76 security personnel were massacred by the rebels in the same region in one of the deadliest attacks April 6.
Both the attacks took place in the Bastar region, spread over nearly 40,000 sq km area of which up to 25,000 sq km is intensively mined, Ranjan said.
A police officer said on condition of anonymity that the two attacks had rattled the security forces. “I admit that forces in the Bastar interiors have gone defensive. Neither the state police nor the paramilitary forces are ready with heart and mind to go after the Maoists in thickly forested areas that are heavily mined,” the officer told IANS.
State Home Minister Nankiran Kanwar said he was in favour of the army taking over the anti-Maoist operations “I think the army should take over the job to wipe out Maoists. I am saddened by the attacks coming one after another and the loss of lives of our brave soldiers,” Kanwar told reporters. He described Saturday’s attack as a “a gross neglect of guerrilla warfare rules and a complete intelligence failure”.
Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, comprising five districts - Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar and Kanker - has been the nerve centre of Maoist militancy since the late 1980s.
Naxals planning big attack in Maharashtra: IB

According to an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report, the Naxals are planning a massive attack in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra. It says they have been planning this attack prior to last month’s massacre in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh in which 76 paramilitary personnel were killed.
The report says that 60 percent of the 8000 armed Naxal cadres are concentrated in Gadchiroli and southern Chhattisgarh regions and they have mined the bulk of national highways in the area.
However, the state police say they are ready with their counter offensive. Gadchiroli is a highly Naxal infested region in the country. In the past, there have been several attacks in the region. On February 1, 2009, a group of over 150 Naxal cadres ambushed a police party near the Markegaon village killing 15 policemen.
On May 22, 2009, just after the Lok Sabha elections, 16 security personnel including 6 policewomen were killed near the Kala Ghoda hillocks in the district. 17 policemen were killed when Maoists attacked the police team at Lahiri police station in October, 2009.
Forces ill-equipped
A day after 8 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed in a landmine blast by suspected Maoists in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police now say the guerrillas have heavily mined the state’s forested areas and that the state forces are finding it difficult to de-mine the vast stretches.
The Director General of Police (DGP) says that it is impossible to go after the Maoists in thickly forested areas because of the booby traps.
Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan says de-mining operations in thickly forested areas is a challenge due to lack of proper technology.
“The big problem is we have no technology and resources to de-mine the massive forested pockets. Without taking out landmines it’s literally impossible to go after them freely in thickly forested areas where Maoists are always ready with a booby trap,” says Ranjan.
Chhattisgarh Home Minister, Nanki Ram Kanwar has condemned Saturday’s attack.
“This was an unfortunate incident. They used guerilla techniques to target our truck that was carrying essential supplies. Naxals are afraid to face us so they launch these covert attacks,” says Kanwar.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the 8 jawans, who were killed when their bulletproof vehicle was blown up, have been brought to Raipur.

 
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