Three landmines seized in Odisha
Rayagada (Odisha): Three powerful landmines planted by Maoists apparently targeting the police were seized by security personnel in the district on Monday. CRPF and District Voluntary Force (DVF) stumbled upon the landmines during a joint combing operation in the forests near Siriguda, Naxal Operation Cell sources said. Two of the landmines weighed 20 kg each while the other one was about 10 kg, the sources said, adding, the bomb disposal squad of the police defused them. Besides the three landmines, four detonators, banners and posters were found hidden in a pit covered with dry leaves and wooden planks inside the forest.
CRPF mulls fitting guns with GPS to track Maoist moves
NEW DELHI: Call it an out of the box idea or absolute desperation. Due to repeated intelligence failures leading anti-naxal forces walking into ambushes, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is exploring technology to fit their guns with GPS systems. The idea is that if Maoists loot them, it will reveal their location and movements. The only problem is no GPS device available in India has a battery life of more than a day. “We are exploring this idea. But we do not have that kind of technology at disposal at the moment. If some company can provide a device with long battery life that can last for a few days then it can be of some consequence operationally,” said a CRPF official.
In the recent Latehar encounter, which claimed lives of 10 security personnel, there was a clear intelligence lag that meant Maoists were always a step ahead. CRPF sources said that they had been tracking senior leader of CPI (Maoist) Arvindji since December 10, 2013 but every time they got information of his location, he had already left the place. “In one particular village, he had stayed for over 10 days, but we got know about it only after he left the village,” said a CRPF official.
Contrary to this, Maoists got real-time information on troop movements and were waiting on the hills for CRPF contingent when it reached Katiya village in Amwatikar jungles where the encounter took place. If the technology is available, CRPF is mulling redesigning of their guns to fit the GPS device innocuously. “But the battery life should be at least 10 days to give any operational benefit to us. Maoists move in the jungles on foot. So movement is not very rapid. To ascertain a pattern one needs tracking over a few days,” said the official.
CRPF’s intelligence network is still at a nascent stage with its intelligence department set only a year ago. It largely depends on intelligence provided by state police and Intelligence Bureau. While IB has been providing the bulk of technical intelligence, state police has its human intelligence network that assists the forces. However, there have been constant issues of lack of coordination between the three arms, say sources – one of the reasons why CRPF set up its own intelligence department. Lack of state penetration in tribal areas has led to poor human intelligence network adding to the problem of conducting operations in naxal-infested areas.
Now, a bank to store terror info
With the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) still stuck, the Centre has operationalised a data bank at the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as a one-stop-shop on terror and terrorists that will help in a seamless flow of information till the district level in the country. Named as the National Memory Bank, it is vested with the IB’s Multi Agency Centre (MAC). It will have details about terror organisational structure, insurgent and naxal outfits, interrogation reports of arrested operatives and their profile. The data can accessed by any stakeholder in MAC or its subsidiary called SMAC at the state level.
According to sources, once a terrorist is caught in any part of the country, his profile and interrogation details will be made available to all police forces at the central and state level through the bank. Even if a certain name crops up in the interrogation of an arrested operative, the state or central unit can dig into their records to see if any other case is registered against him anywhere in the shortest possible time. The process of uploading information in the bank has already started When P Chidambaram was Union home minister, he proposed formation of the NCTC for seamless operational and intelligence coordination between the counter-terror units of the country at the central and state level.
But the NCTC ran into rough weather due to opposition of various state governments. If the NCTC had come into being, the MAC would have been subsumed by it. Around Rs. 70 crore has been spent to start the bank. During the phase-II around 460 districts will be connected with the bank at the level of SP to facilitate pumping of ground level information in the MAC
2 ‘Maoist’ carriers killed in Hazaribag blast
HAZARIBAG: Two activists of suspected CPI ( Maoists) died in a blast while carrying explosivess on a two-wheeler near Bhusuwa village at Ichak on Saturday. Officer in charge of Ichak police station Rama Shankar Singh said the explosion was so severe that victim Vijay Yadav’s leg was blown off while the body of other victim Sanjay Ram, who was sitting on the pillion, was badly mutilated.
“The two were carrying about 300 pieces of explosives in a bag and sped away in a bid to escape the police dragnet. Suddenly one of their cellphones started ringing and the explosives which they were carrying got ignited and exploded with loud noise. Villagers residing in the area came out of their house thinking that the CPI (Maoists) struck once again. But as they found that two persons were lying in a pool of blood, they informed police about the mutilated bodies,” the OC said.
Police picked up the bodies and sent them to Hazaribag Sadar hospital for postmortem. The OC said it appeared that they were carrying the explosives for ulterior motives or for illegal mining of stone queries. The area is infamous for a large number of illegal mining of stones. Police patrolling has been intensified in the area because of increase in carrying huge explosives in the region.