Woman Maoist Cadre Killed in Encounter
BHUBANESWAR: A woman cadre was killed during a gun battle between the security forces and the Maoists in a forest in Kalahandi district on Thursday. The combing team comprising Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) also recovered arms from the spot. Addressing mediapersons, Kalahandi SP Brijesh Rai said on receiving intelligence information about movement of Maoists in Kanamanjur Reserve Forest, an intense combing operation was launched. The encounter, that took place near Supel on the bank of river Sagada between 3.30 pm and 4 pm, lasted for about 25 minutes.
The Maoists fled into the forest leaving behind the body of the woman cadre, who is yet to be identified, the SP added. It is suspected that the Maoists belong to Bansadhara Ghumsar Nagavali division, which is led by Divisional Commander Nikhil. The items seized by the combing team include 13 haversacks, .303 rifle with magazine and ammunition, two detonators with flexible wire, transistor, knife, solar plate, battery charger, Maoist literature and household articles, the SP added. Nine SOG and DVF personnel received minor bullet injuries, the SP said.
Centre okays BSF deployment in Agency
Visakhapatnam: Nearly two months after the state government made the request, the centre has reportedly given clearance for the deployment of a battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) in the Agency area of Visakhapatnam to tackle the increasing naxal menace. AP police sources told TOI that the clearance came last week and that the points of deployment would be finalised by a BSF team in consultation with the state police and the central forces could be on the ground by the second half of this year. The BSF deployment will be a great boost for Visakhapatnam rural cops who have been facing hardships in curbing the naxal activity in the district for the past four decades.
The state had in its request to the centre spoken of increasing naxal activity in the remote areas of the Agency and wanted either the CRPF or the BSF to be deployed there. The state police had identified 6 outposts in the Agency area where the central forces need to be deployed. At present, the state police is aided by two CRPF battalions. According to sources, a battalion of BSF has been sanctioned for deployment in Visakhapatnam. The battalion would consist of seven companies (each company having a strength of about 100 personnel), including a training company. All these companies would be stationed at the proposed outposts at different locations in the Maoist-infested areas.
The red rebels are active in GK Veedhi, Munchingiput, Pedabayalu, G. Madugula, Chintapalli mandals and parts of some other mandals in the Visakha Agency, which has 11 mandals. Majority of mandals in the Visakha Agency are sharing the borders with Odisha’s Koraput and Malkangiri district, which are also severely infested by the naxals. The border of Andhra-Odisha has ample openings for the naxals to escape from Andhra to Odisha, sources said. “If we have permanent presence in those dense forested villages, then people will also get confidence and come to the police. For that, the civil police should have an armed base support,” a senior inspector posted in the Agency said. Incidentally, after major violence by the naxals, Odisha sought deployment of central forces in the state.
The request was made by the Odisha government after the Balimela ambush in July 2008 in which 37 security personnel including elite force greyhounds met with a watery grave after being gunned down by the reds. The centre then sanctioned three BSF battalions for Odisha and they are deployed in more than 20 base camps in Koraput and Malkangiri districts. The BSF personnel in Odisha also regularly conduct combing operations in those districts, the sources said. Once the authorities concerned gives the green signal for the deployment of BSF in the Agency area, then the state government would have to create the necessary infrastructure for the camps and outposts. “The BSF deployment has been okayed on paper. The movement order would be issued only after the higher ups of the concerned department identify the deployment spots after taking into consideration all aspects such as logistical support and reinforcement in case of any attack on the base camps and others, a senior police officer told TOI.