Centre asks states to be on guard ahead of Naxals’ PLGA week

NEW DELHI: The Centre, wary that Maoists may stage some major strikes during the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week that stands advanced to November 24 to coincide with slain leader Kishenji’s ‘martyrdom’ day, has told the nine Naxal-affected states to step up vigil and tighten security around economic infrastructure, including railway property. The PLGA week, observed from December 2 to 8 in honour of slain leaders of the CPI (Maoist)’s armed wing, is likely to see a spurt in attacks on paramilitary forces, particularly CRPF, as well as on trains, railway tracks and other government infrastructure.

The Centre is particularly concerned as the PLGA week has been brought forward to November 24 this year, apparently to send a message that the Maoists seek to avenge the killing of Kishenji – which took place on the same day last year – by carrying out spectacular attacks around his first death anniversary. In an advisory to the nine Left-wing extremism-hit states, the home ministry has called for deployment of adequate security forces at vantage points to foil the Naxals’ plan. Sharing inputs that Naxals have been congregating and have constituted special action groups to carry out intensified attacks during the PLGA week, the MHA has sought tighter security, particularly in Midnapore district in West Bengal, from where Kishenji operated.

The “threatened” points include Jhargram, where a train was stopped and passengers held hostage earlier, Belpahari, Jamboni and Nayagram. Kishenji was killed on November 24 in West Bengal last year in a special operation conducted by a joint squad of the state police and CRPF. The MHA advisory has asked security forces to keep a check on Maoist activities, gatherings and any other offensive activity in their respective areas of operation. Party posters urging the people to observe the PLGA week from November 24 have sprung up in a big way in interior pockets of Andhra-Orissa border and Chhattisgarh. A senior police officer involved in anti-Maoist operations earlier told TOI the rebels could resort to ambush.


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