Not giving any breathing space to the Maoists after being pushed on the ‘back foot’ in the last few months, Jharkhand police have accomplished its target of replacing all the .303 rifles with INSAS for its combat forces this year.
“Our target was to replace all .303 rifles with INSAS, which we achieved this year. All the fighting personnel have now INSAS,” Additional Director General of Police (Training & Modernisation) Bibhuti Bhusan Pradhan said.
Asserting that the Maoists were on the back foot, Pradhan said Jharkhand has been the leading state in the fight against the left-wing guerrillas.
“Even the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) has said Jharkhand is the number one state fighting against the Maoists. Of course, we have suffered casualties, but we have pushed them on the back foot,” he added.
Informing that the state police were being equipped with modern gadgets every month, the police officer said recently a few new anti-landmine vehicles were added to the already over 100 such vehicles to scourge into the deep forests during anti-naxal operations.
“Now we have over hundred anti-landmine vehicles with the addition of a few more (recently). All the naxal-affected districts have been given the vehicles, besides deployment of Special Task Force,” he added.
Earlier, the police used to have only one choice — Ordnance Factory — to purchase anti-landmine vehicles, but with the advent of MPVs of two auto majors the choice has expanded, the officer said.
Jharkhand police, who have been dealing with at least six extremist outfits, including the CPI (Maoist), have recently claimed to have ‘cleared off’ Maoists from West Singhbhum’s Saranda forest and Latehar’s Saryu area — the two worst affected districts.
Thereafter, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh visited the two districts several times and launched a development programme in the villages near Saranda forest.
Last month he sanctioned a special development package in Latehar district, which is likely to be launched next month.