CRPF begins to leave Maharashtra’s Maoist-affected districts for Chhattisgarh
NEW DELHI: To ensure seamless coordination between forces across state borders and maintain a single command chain in any given area in the Naxal-affected zones, the government has begun the process to completely remove CRPF from Maharashtra’s Maoist districts. CRPF battalions posted in Gadchiroli are now being moved to Bastar in Chhattisgarh to bolster force presence in the Naxal heartland. The Maharashtra districts will now be manned by ITBP personnel who are already present in the contiguous district of Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh.
The idea is to put greater pressure on CPI (Maoist) which is on the back foot owing to a series of surrenders in the recent past, said sources. In the present arrangement, CRPF is present in Bastar along with ITBP leading to creation of two command chains and thus difficulty in conducting coordinated operation. Then again the CRPF battalions in Gadchiroli are cut off from Chhattisgarh as Rajnandgaon, the Chhattisgarh district adjacent to Gadchiroli, is under ITBP’s operational control.
As Maoists regularly move across borders, the new arrangement will help movement of forces. “The decision is also inspired by the view that we need more Maoist battle-trained forces in Bastar as that’s where Naxals still have considerable influence. Maharashtra police has by and large done a very good job in driving out Maoists from Gadchiroli and the district is largely peaceful barring stray incidences of violence. Such situation is ideal for ITBP to take over as they will get some headway to build their own network and get into the groove,” said a home ministry official. The plan, however, has been opposed by Maharashtra government which is reluctant to disturb a well-established and successful arrangement. “The state government feels it would have to start from scratch as far as coordinating with a central force is concerned,” said the official. The plan was mooted by UPA regime and has been put into action by the NDA government.
Naxals making Gadchiroli boys steal gelatine
Facing shortage of ingredients to make explosives, Naxals in Gadchiroli have employed a new trick. They are now sending young boys to work at stone quarries in Chennai and Bangalore, and getting them to pilfer gelatine from there. This has come out in the interrogation of one of the recently arrested Naxal operatives, according toa senior official. “They have been facing a lot of shortage of gelatine over the past two years. So, they have lured some local boys to work in the quarries at Bangalore and Chennai. These boys work there for a few months before decamping with gelatine sticks to return to Gadchiroli.
All this is done on behalf of the Naxals by a handler based somewhere in the border between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. The handler then brings the stolen material to the Naxals,” the official said. The police are working on details of the boys sent out by the handler as well as the handler himself. “We have got names of 60 boys so far. We would soon be talking to some of them,” the official said. Asked if the boys return to the quarries, the official said: “They generally don’t. A new batch is then sent for the job. We are ascertaining how much gelatine has come in.”
Details on Killing of Police informer in Malkangiri
The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed a tribal youth in Malkangiri District on October 30, suspecting him to be a ‘Police informer’, reports The Pioneer. According to reports, a group of 10 to 15 Maoists reached Panimetala village in the night of October 29 and abducted Bhima Madhi (27), whose bullet-ridden body was found lying on the main road near MPV-31 village by the villagers in the early morning of October 30. The villagers also found two Maoists posters near the body. While one poster said that Bhima was killed for being a ‘Police informer’, the other poster was on the call for a Malkangiri Bandh (general shutdown) on October 30, to protest the killing of three Maoists by tribals at Biravaram village on the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh Border on October 19.