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78 cops evade postings to Maoist-hit areas
RAIPUR/RANCHI/Midnapore, SEPT 25 (IANS):
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Published on 25 Sep. 2010 11:40 PM IST
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As many as 78 policemen in Chhattisgarh have been sent show cause notices for refusing to join postings in Maoist-hit areas of the state, a senior police official said Saturday.
The police headquarters here served notices to 33 inspector-rank officers and other police officers who refused to take postings citing health reasons, mostly diabetes and high blood pressure.
“The police department can’t afford such kind of gross indiscipline among jawans. The 78 policemen, who have been evading new postings, have been asked to explain within three days, otherwise we will take stern action,” Inspector General of Police (administration) Pawan Deo told IANS.
The problem of state policemen refusing to take postings in the seven Maoist-infested districts has been rising every month, an official said, adding that new recruits were not joining their duties in such areas.
The worst-hit districts are Rajnandgaon and Surguja, besides five districts in the sprawling 40,000 sq km mineral-rich Bastar region - made up of Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kanker and Dantewaa. The region is known as the nerve centre of Maoist militancy.
Nearly 40,000 forces, including roughly half of them from paramilitary troopers, have been put in Bastar region to take on Maoists armed with rocket launchers, mortars and AK-47s.
Efforts to find abducted cops
The Chhattisgarh government renewed efforts Saturday and sought help from Andhra Pradesh to secure the release of four policemen who are believed to be in the captivity of Maoists since Sep 19, police sources said.
Maoists had kidnapped seven policemen Sep 19 from Bhopalpatnam area of Bijapur district close to Andhra Pradesh border and had killed three of them a day later. The remaining four are still untraced, sources at the police headquarters here said. An assistant sub-inspector, S. Bhagat, and three constables are in Maoist captivity and the ultras have probably been shifting them from one densely forested location to another between Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, a police official said.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has also appealed to the Maoists to release the policemen on humanitarian grounds.
The Maoists have not established contact with the authorities or made any announcements confirming the abduction or stating demands for their release.
Policeman killed in gunfight with Maoists
A policeman was killed and three others injured in a gun battle with Maoist rebels in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district Saturday, police said.
“One policeman has been killed and three were injured in a gun battle with Maoist rebels in Saranda jungle. Maoist detonated several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the jungle. Many casualties are feared on both sides,” Jharkhand police spokesperson R.K. Mallik told IANS. Another gun battle took place between police and members of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) near Khapratoli jungle of Latehar district Saturday. Two Maoists were arrested after the gun battle and two rifles and live cartridges seized from them.
CRPF trooper, Maoist killed in WB gunfight
A paramilitary trooper and a Maoist guerrilla were killed in a gunfight in West Bengal’s troubled West Midnapore district early Saturday, police said.
On a tip-off, joint forces along with the Common Battalions for Resolute Action personnel started conducting search operations in Bandarbani forest area of Binpur. “While conducting search operations, a gunfight between Maoists and joint forces started. This left a Maoist cadre and a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan dead,” a senior police official said. A huge cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered after the gunfight, said the official.
“We are right now conducting search operations in the area,” West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said. Maoists are active in three western districts of the state - Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura.

 
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