Reds go one-up on forces

NEW DELHI: The Border Security Force (BSF), deployed for anti-naxal operations, has recently recovered a huge cache of ‘state-of-the-art’ Chinese-made communication gadgets in Maoists-affected Koraput, Odisha, setting alarm bells ringing within security establishment as officials are worried how could such sophisticated equipment made inroads to the Red Zone.

The consignment, comprising 41 communication sets and a number of sophisticated “war-like” guns and electric detonator, was found buried underground at two locations in five sealed plastic drums in a forest near Koraput during raids on December 23, 2011.

Closer examination of these gadgets has revealed that these equipment are beyond ‘interception’ capability of Indian agencies, prompting BSF to write a detailed ‘note’ to all the security\intelligence agencies about suspected Chinese ‘links’. It sought immediate probe of foreign linkages to “trace the source of procurement of the unearthed consignment of communication sets”.

The note, written by IG (anti-naxal operation) S A Khader, has stated that the seized communication sets are of Chinese make. It said, “Such high end communication equipments (Motorola\ICOM sets) are procured under licence issued by the wireless & coordination unit of the ministry of communication, Government of India”.

Officials here worried as how such high end “made\assembled in China” communication equipment, which cannot be procured without government licence, reach Red Zone. Though such gadgets, including high-end Motorola sets having ranges up to 35 miles and ICOM radio sets, could reach Maoists via the north-east smuggling network, a section within security agencies suspects that such ‘sets’ cannot reach smugglers’ unless someone within the government across the border help them.

Officials suspect that a number of such sophisticated equipment might have reached the Maoists. “The BSF could lay its hands on the seized items through its network of human intelligence, but we don’t know how many of such gadgets are still in possession of the ultras. We are trying to reach at the bottom of the entire issue,” said an official.

The seizure confirmed Maoists’ links with north-east insurgent groups, mainly the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of Manipur, which is quite active in procuring arms and ammunitions from Chinese smugglers.

Pitching for a comprehensive probe, Khader in his note said: “The acquisition of the sophisticated communication equipment of foreign origin by the Maoists has now been confirmed by this seizure. Therefore, the possibility of procurement of modern small arms and other deadly war-like store from foreign sources by the Maoists cannot be ruled out in future.”

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