Forces detect 500kg IEDs in 10 days in poll-bound Bastar
NEW DELHI: Across poll-bound Bastar in south Chhattisgarh, where Maoists hold sway, security forces led by the CRPF found about 500kg IEDs in the last 10 days averting loss of lives and property. Maoists planted these improvised explosive devices (IEDs), also called landmines, along highways and kutcha village roads, to enforce poll boycott and harm security forces. “Of them, most are command wire IEDs. However, pressure IEDs have also been found in Chhattisgarh,” said a senior CRPF officer. A command wire IED has a wire attached to a circuit. It can be detonated from about 50-60 m away by a cadre hidden in the forest.
Pressure IED can explode when a person or a vehicle passes over it. Early Thursday, a CRPF-led joint forces team found two 25kg command wire IEDs packed in steel cans along the highway between Dornapal and Jagargunda in Sukma district. The IEDs were planted close to the spot where the Maoists had ambushed and killed 76 CRPF men in 2010. The joint forces team detected the IEDs during a patrol. Most of the IEDs detected are made of ammonium nitrate though large number of gelatin IEDs have also been found. “These deadly explosives reached the Maoists mainly through pilferage from mining companies in Chhattisgarh and neighbouring Jharkhand,” said an officer. Since November 1, security forces found 132kg IEDs in Chhattisgarh and 130kg along the state’s border with Jharkhand. More IEDs were defused at the spot they were found.
In October, 109kg IEDs were found in Chhattisgarh and 274kg along Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border. Bastar, which has seven districts and 12 assembly constituencies spread over about 40,000 sq km, goes to polls on November 11. Earlier, the Maoists had asked villagers not to walk on kutcha roads after October 31 as these would be heavily mined by IEDs. True to their word, Maoist cadres have already mined roads, especially in the interiors, to prevent villagers from reaching polling booths. Their other aim is to inflict maximum damage on security forces on poll duty. Maoists could mine areas around booths, suspect senior officers. About 50,000 security forces have been deployed in Bastar to secure poll in the Maoist stronghold. Before induction, they were sensitized about IEDs by experts, including officers from CRPF’s Institute for IED Management in Pune.
Maoists reiterate call for poll boycott in tribal Bastar region
RAIPUR: Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoists) have reiterated their call for boycott of elections in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh alleging that security forces deployed in large numbers for the polls were unleashing terror on people to thwart its campaign for boycott of elections. “Road opening parties (ROP), round the clock patrolling, police pickets everywhere, mobile check posts, regular combing operations, fake encounters, raids on villages, illegal arrests and implicating tribals in false cases have become order of the day”, CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee secretary Rammana said in an SMS message circulated to media in the state capital.
Claiming that students were forced to vacate residential hostels to facilitate accommodation of security forces, he said studies in almost all schools in the interiors have been affected. Ramanna exhorted employees, progressive and democratic intellectuals to boycott elections and extend every kind of support to the peoples’ struggle going on in Dandakaranya. “Let us forge ahead undeterred for genuine freedom on the basis of self-reliance by intensifying peoples war and defeating operation green hunt”, Rammanna said. There are also unconfirmed reports that Maoists have given a call for bandh in the interior areas of Bastar but there is no independent confirmation either from the police or from the rebels.
Maoists torch vehicles, beat up workers
Maoists raided the project site of a private construction company in Vishungarh, around 110 km from here, late Thursday and also beat up four labourers of the company, police said. The non-payment of levy demanded by the rebels is said to be the reason for the incident.