Situation war-like: DGP

New Delhi, May 31: DGP G.S. Rath today chose to paint a grim picture of the overall security scenario of Jharkhand and called the situation “war-like” while referring to the recent spate of Maoist attacks that targeted construction companies and their equipment as well as men in uniform.

More than 20 people have died this month in addition to frequent arson attacks on work sites of construction companies executing major highway widening projects.

Rath, who was in New Delhi with home secretary J.B. Tubid for a conference of chief secretaries of states organised by the home ministry to review the security situation, said he was satisfied with the cooperation he was getting from neighbouring states and the Centre.

“We will be keeping a closer watch on our borders with Bihar, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, ” he said. However, he refused to elaborate on the deliberations that took place.

Later speaking to The Telegraph about the Maoist ambush in Lohardaga on May 3 in which 11 policemen were killed, the DGP said, “Despite being lured into a Maoist trap my boys valiantly repulsed the Naxalites and no weapons were lost.”

He added that though there were no trophies of victory yet, his forces had been venturing into previously inaccessible areas. “A war-like scenario is prevailing. We win some, we lose some. We are having encounters in interior areas with Naxalites,” he said.

The bulk of the recent violence has happened in the border districts of Gumla and Palamau. The Lohardaga ambush also happened not very far from the state’s border with Chhattisgarh.

The DGP reiterated that the nine murders in Gumla were internecine clashes between Naxalite factions.

But he refused to be drawn into a conversation on the criticism his police force had drawn from the state’s police adviser, D.N. Gautam. In an interview to The Telegraph on May 17, the former DGP of Bihar lambasted the state police saying senior officers weren’t taking their jobs seriously as they were too busy finding fault. Gautam also disagreed with the DGP’s assessment of the Gumla killings, saying that the incidents required thorough investigation.

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