Forces to keep up hunt in red zones

Ranchi, May 12: The state police and CRPF personnel will not let up joint operations to flush out Naxalites from their core areas, despite the rebels losing ground in a few strongholds.

CRPF director general K. Vijay Kumar conveyed the message to the state police top brass during a meeting in Ranchi after returning from Latehar, where he met troopers engaged in a 45-day-long operation that was suspended yesterday.

“The DG hinted at carrying out operations on a regular basis in core areas of Naxalites such as Saranda, Porahat, Sarju, Jhumra and Parasnath hills so that the CPI(Maoist) cadres are not able to regain lost territories. So, more operations will continue in future,” said a top CRPF official posted in Jharkhand.

The CRPF DG was also of the view that inter-state joint operations with Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Bengal be stepped up to combat Naxalites.

After arriving in Ranchi yesterday, he had left for Latehar to take stock of the Operation Octopus-II, a joint mission in the forested Burha Pahad area along the Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh border.

Sources added that the DG was satisfied with operations in the Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh border as the personnel had managed to venture into deep forests that were uncharted earlier and are known to shelter Maoists.

Moreover, the forces did not suffer any casualty while intelligence inputs suggest that several Naxalites were killed during intermittent gunfights.

Kumar today met state additional director-general of police (law and order) A.K. Sinha, additional director general of police (special branch) Rezi Dungdung as well as CRPF officers.

He also called on chief minister Arjun Munda and a recuperating constable at Apollo hospital in Irba. The CoBRA jawan, Nagendra Kumar, had received bullet injuries during an encounter with Naxalites in Latehar on April 9.

The DG also asked director general of police G.S. Rath, who is not in Ranchi, over phone to speed up work on setting up CRPF camps in Saranda.

The CRPF DG left for New Delhi in the afternoon.

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