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Anti-Maoist drives yielding results: Pillai
Raipur/Kolkata, Jul 6 (IANS):
Published on 6 Jul. 2010 11:17 PM IST
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Steps taken to combat Maoist insurgency had slowly started yielding results, union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said here Tuesday.
Giving details about the ongoing anti-Maoist drives in many Chhattisgarh districts, he cited the example of tribal-dominated Kanker district and noted that ration shops had opened and weekly markets were being held in remote areas because of the presence of security forces.
“Now ration shops are opened, regular weekly markets are being held, school buildings are being constructed and more importantly, contractors are now eager for bidding for the tenders being floated for development scheme in the area,” he added.
“We do realise that we do not have adequate number of forces. It could take some time to recruit the personnel and provide them with training before being put in the Maoist areas,” he said after touring Maoist-hit pockets in India’s worst leftist insurgency-hit state Chhattisgarh and chairing a security review meet here.
“It is the firm commitment of the government to complete the anti-Naxalite (Maoist) operations once adequate number of state police personnel and central paramilitary forces (CPMF) were recruited, trained and deployed in the affected areas,” he added.
Pillai Monday visited Rajnandgaon district in state’s western region and then Kanker, part of the 40,000 sq km Maoist stronghold Bastar region, to get inputs from the ground level about development and insurgency. He said he felt there was no immediate need for deployment of army in the Maoist areas.
Pillai had put off his trip to restive Dantewada Tuesday as his chopper did not take off from Raipur due to poor weather but he held a security review meeting in the state capital before flying back to New Delhi.
He also met Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior civil and police officials, including district collectors of Dantewada and Bijapur districts.
Pillai’s visit assumes significance in wake of Home Minister P. Chidambaram asking the Chhattisgarh government to revisit the issue of deployment of paramilitary forces in Maoist areas after the rebels ambushed the CRPF personnel in Narayanpur district on June 29, killing 27 people. Chhattisgarh has been rocked by a series of blasts and gun fights in year 2010. In the last three months alone, more than 150 people have been killed, mostly security personnel. This includes the massacre of 76 security personnel in Dantewada district April 6.
High alert in WB

All police stations and security camps in three Maoist-hit districts in West Bengal are on “high alert” ahead of the 48-hour shutdown from Wednesday called by the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), police said Tuesday.
“Security has been beefed up in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia,” state Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh said.
“No additional force will be deployed in the area but the existing forces have been kept on high alert so that they can react as early as possible to any adverse situation,” he said.
Maoists called the two-day nationwide strike starting Wednesday to protest the killing of their spokesperson Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad by the police in Andhra Pradesh.
A police officer in West Midnapore said: “The Maoists have vowed to take revenge for the death of Azad. Naturally there is every possibility of attacks in the state.”
Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel have been asked to keep a strict vigil along railway tracks passing through the three districts, a railway official said.
A Quick Response Team comprising RPF, Government Railway Police (GRP) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel has been deployed on trains and tracks along Kharagpur-Rourkela and Kharagpur-Adra sections, a South Eastern Railway spokesperson said.
“Movement of passenger trains have already been suspended” at night since the May 28 derailment of Gyaneswari Express that killed 148 people, he added.
Two killed by Maoists
Two farm labourers were shot and later hacked to death by Maoists who suspected them of being police spies in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district Tuesday, police said.
Sohidul Sheikh and Mohar Ali were from Dudhsar village and their bodies were recovered from a field.
“Eight suspected Maoists attacked them around 10 a.m.,” said Murshidabad Superintendent of Police Bharat Lal Meena.
A poster reportedly issued by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) was found near the bodies, he added.
“The poster claimed that the two were police informers and that more such police informers would be killed soon,” the officer said.

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