The Jharkhand police top brass has alerted Central agencies of jails in the state becoming dens for Maoist propaganda. The Jharkhand police brass has driven the Union home ministry’s attention to security of jails in the state, indicating that some of them have turned into centres of Naxal propaganda.
A large number of Maoists have either been jailed and killed by security forces during anti-Naxal operations in the Maoist-infested states in the last one year. Top government official said the rebels are using this opportunity, while they are in jails, to garner sympathy for their cause, spread influence and rope in fresh faces to yield greater influence in the state. The CPI (Maoist) fresh tactics come in the wake of the banned outfit for the first time being put on the backfoot due to the efforts of Central and the state police forces to wrest control of the so-called liberated zones.
The first indicators of this have come with the Maoist top brass leaving their earlier stronghold areas and scouting for shelter in new areas, the fresh intelligence inputs have said. The security forces have entered Saranda forest in Jharkhand by resorting to forward deployment even as the security forces have gained control over the erstwhile Naxal strongholds in West Bengal and are ‘’cleaning up’’ Rohtas and Kaimpur districts in Bihar. Another reason, agencies believe, for Maoists doubling their efforts to garner support and fresh local faces, is their inability to hold their party congress so far this year.
The Jharkhand police, however, is now concerned that Maoists’ latest strategy and tactics could become a major area of concern since the Naxals and their sympathisers are trying to raise issues of large-scale deployment of local tribals arising out of continuing mining activities in the mineral rich districts of the state. Spelling out its concerns to the Centre, the state police has sought sensitisation of all government departments to work in a coordinated manner in the ongoing fight against Maoists.
The Jharkhand police meanwhile also pointed towards inadequacies in response of civil administration and the forest department to respond to their concerns. The police force cited the plight of security personnel for having to fight malaria after entering into Saranda forest for want of medical facilities.