‘With leaders in jail, Red squads led by teenagers now’

RANCHI: With the arrest of a large number of senior CPI(Maoist) leaders, including some central committee members, the rebel organization have handed over commands of squad and areas to teenagers. A number of the new squad leaders and area commanders are in late teens or in the 20-21 age group.

IG (ops) SN Pradhan said security agencies operating in the state had definite information that there were currently no less than 10-15 such Maoist squads commanded by teenagers. “The vacuum has been created following continuous operations by security forces in the state and arrest of top rebel leaders from squad leaders to central committee members,” said Pradhan. Some of the top Maoist leaders who are currently in jails include Pramod Mishra, Rama Krishna, Narayan Sanyal, Akhilesh Yadav, Pramod Kumar and Pradeep.

“Our efforts are to further put pressure on the Maoists and make them leaderless so that they are not left with people who can allure children, especially girls, to their fold. In the last few years the Maoists have been recruiting teenagers and our effort will be to arrest those people who are behind the recruitment drive. We expect that in the near future the rebels will not be able to allure children to their fold,” said an optimistic Pradhan.

On the other hand, the Jharkhand police has been getting good response in its effort to gather information about Maoists by placing advertisement in newspapers. On an average, the state police is getting 10 phone calls per day where people are ready to help them in arresting wanted Maoists.

The callers have been asking police about the modalities of payment and protection they can get from security agencies after they help in arresting a rebel. State police officials expect that this will further harm the rebel organization and leave a leadership vacuum among the Maoist squads.

“A few days back we had placed advertisement in newspapers seeking cooperation from people to arrest Maoists. The response has been very encouraging. We are explaining to the callers how they can get the reward money and police protection for themselves and family members if they help police in arresting the rebels,” Pradhan said.


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