KOLKATA: The Centre has asked the state government to be cautious while conducting joint operations, as there is an alert that red rebels may strike soon to unnerve the administration. With the rebels planning to observe the first death anniversary of Kishanji on November 24, the joint force has been asked to be on the alert while on the move, as there are plans of landmine attacks.
Inputs have reached the state secretariat about a possible attack during the festival period. After getting the info, the police officers from Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal held a meeting last week in Purulia. They are trying to block the passage so that the Maoists cannot flee easily after any attack to Chattisgarh, as they have set up a special corridor on which they plant mines. Moreover, the officers are concerned about the Maoists trying to bring in arms to Bengal, as they want to strike back in the state.
An officer said that Maoist activities in Jhalda, Arsha, Balarampur and Bandwan police station areas have increased and these police stations have also been alerted. Also, there are reports that the Maoists might attack some of the Trinamool leaders in Bankura and Purulia with an aim to hit the Trinamool base before the panchayat polls.
A fortnight ago, a Trinamool supporter Girish Shahis was murdered at Binpur in Mindapore (West). Police arrested Rabi Barik, a DYFI leader, in this connection. So, police are also probing if Maoists are setting links with CPM cadres. A senior police officer said that the red rebels are now trying to re-group in Bankura and Purulia as they are cornered in Midnapore (West). On Saturday, a Maoist leader Mansingh Murumu was arrested from Nayagram in Jhargram and was remanded in police custody for 12 days.
At present, the joint operation is going on in a slow pace with the men in uniform doing recce and routine patrol in the forest adjoining areas. However, with the rebels recruiting youths and training them, operations by the joint force can intensify soon. The joint force is now recovering arms and unearthing mines. The joint force, concentrating in Midnapore (West), said some of the top Maoists are now moving out. Maoist leader Bikash, who had so far been in Midnapore (West) is now concentrating on the Ayodhya hills, as the rebels are trying to rebuild its Ayodhya squad.
Another top rebel leader from Jharkhand Ranjit Pal has been camping in Ayodhya for last one week, along with the from Jharkhand for the past week is now camping in Ayodha hills along with Haladhar Garai. Women leaders – Anita and Aparna – are also in the same place since they are trying to gain control of the hill top for its strategic location.
Moreover, they are carrying several automatic weapons, including AK-47 and SLR. Bikash had been brought to Ayodhya hills in Purulia as he is a tribal youth and there are several tribal villages, which the Maoists are trying to control. The Maoists have already recruited about 200 villagers in Purulia and Bankura. They are also extorting money to gear up operations.