20 Naxalites killed in encounter with CRPF

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by drkrn, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

    Police in India say they have killed 17 Maoist rebels in an overnight clash in the central state of Chhattisgarh.

    Six personnel of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were wounded in the clash in the rebel-dominated Bijapur district, they said.

    The BBC's Salman Ravi in the state capital, Raipur, says local villagers, mostly tribals, have held a protest, contesting the police claim.

    They have alleged that most of those killed were villagers, not insurgents.

    The Maoists are active in more than a third of India's 600-odd districts. They say they are fighting for the rights of the poor peasants and labourers.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described them as the biggest internal security challenge facing India.

    Fighting started late Thursday night when the policemen were carrying out an operation in the dense forests of Basaguda.

    A senior police officer in Bijapur, Prashant Agarwal, told the BBC that they had recovered a large number of arms and ammunition from the area.

    Mr Agarwal said only five of the bodies had been identified so far and that they were trying to identity the others.

    BBC News - India police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

    this is a big setback for Maoists in chattisgarh.now they don't even have a proper place to hide.
     
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  3. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Re: police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

    It's not 17 -- but 22.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

    As I have mentioned repeatedly that the Maoists have foreign support!

    Even Binayak Sen's case was canvassed by western 'intellectuals'.

    I believe he is now in some Committee of the Govt for upliftment!

    Does the BBC report the number of Irish the British military killed were not IRA terrorists but innocent town and village folks?

    Or of the innocents killed by the British in Afghanistan?

    BBC is another arm of British Psy Ops worldwide!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  5. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    In a major crackdown by CRPF, at least 20 Naxalites, including a woman, were killed in a fierce overnight encounter in the dense jungles of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh that left six jawans wounded.

    The encounter, which took place in the forests of Silger, an uncharted Maoist zone between the Naxal hotbed of Jagargunda and Basaguda in Bijapur district of Bastar region, was launched on Thursday night in a joint operation by over 300 CRPF and State police personnel from three directions.

    Seventeen bodies of the ultras have been recovered from the spot, Chhattisgarh ADG (Naxal operations) Ram Nivas said, adding the combing operations were underway and the toll may rise.

    Two Maoists, who were injured in the encounter, were apprehended and have been airlifted for medical treatment to Raipur, a senior CRPF official said.

    CRPF officials said two “prominent” Naxals, operating in the Bijapur-Dantewada axis, were also killed in the encounter.

    [​IMG]

    Six CRPF men, including two CoBRA commandos, sustained bullet injuries and have been airlifted for medical aid to Raipur. Two of them are critical, he said.

    Keeping in view the tough terrain and presence of a big Naxal squad in mind, the CRPF had deputed a DIG and two commandant rank officers, supported by an additional SP of State police, to lead the operation.

    [​IMG]

    The CRPF has mobilised three units of commandos and regular troops, aided by two helicopters for the encounter from three directions — Jagargunda, Chintalnar and Basaguda.

    This is the same area, close to Chintalnar, where Naxals had carried out an audacious attack on security forces killing 75 CRPF men and one State police personnel in April 2010.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3583924.ece?mstac=0

    Sent via Tapatalk from a galaxy far far away
     
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  6. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: police kill '17 Maoists' in Chhattisgarh

    Naxalites recruiting children: U.N report\
    A United Nations report has accused the Maoists of recruiting children, especially in Chhattisgarh, and indoctrinating them as part of mass mobilisation in the areas affected by left-wing extremism.

    “Maoist [Naxalite] armed groups were recruiting and indoctrinating children, and had constituted children’s squads and associations [Bal Dastas, Bal Sangham and Bal Manch] as part of mass mobilisation,” said the 2011 Annual Report of the U.N. Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict titled, ‘Children and armed conflict.’



    Thanks Nrj!
     
  8. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Maoists understand only force. They need to put down by force. Any other measure is going to fail.

    From Sandwich Phone
     
  9. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    naxal sympathizers already started coming on TV and saying killed persons are civilians fighting with bows.
    how can a bow cause bullet injury??

    20 Maoists killed but only 6 injured from police, seems they were improving and getting acquainted to the conditions very well
     
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Good to hear that no CRPF jawans were killed.
     
  11. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Controversy brewing up over the incident with villagers alleging they were civilians. This needs to be tackled smartly by the CRPF commanders in the area.

     
  12. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Its now confirmed they are Maoists. Outrage is more when Maoists are killed, when civilians get killed usually there is not much outrage.

    From Sandwich Phone
     
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  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Now they are saying they were innocent people.

    DGP of CRPF has said that the Naxals are using human shields.

    Some stupid debate on IBN and bleed hearts like Swamy Agnivesh and some Gonzalves.

    Swamy Agnivesh is asking for independent inquiry.

    The DGs statement on Naxal's using human shield is very important.
     
  14. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    More details based on Outlook's investigation on the June 29 incident. Warning, link contains some graphic photos

    Story Of An Op Lost | Yashwant Dhote

    The 10 minors and 8 adults killed and 4 hurt in Sakerguda on Jun 29, 2012

    Hapka Chhotu 12
    Kaka Parvati 16
    Kaka Rahul 15
    Sarke Ramala 16
    Hapka Mithu 15
    Korsa Bichem 15
    Irpa Suresh 16
    Kaka Sandhya 12
    Kaka Ramesh 15
    Madkam Deva 15
    Madkam Ramvilas 13
    Madkam Nagesh 13
    Madkam Mutta 29
    Irpa Narayan 29
    Madkam Ramesh 27
    Irpa Anil 20
    Kaka Samaiya 35
    Madvi Ayutu 35
    Kunjam Malla 40
    Madkam Suresh 23
    Irpa Gandhi 38
    Irpa Chinnaka 35

    (Age of victims as recorded in their BPL, ration and voter ID cards).

    People who have a nodding acquaintance with tribal communities know them to be poor liars. The more removed they are from urban civilisation, the more incapable they are of manufacturing the truth, often turning up at a police station to confess a crime after committing it. But a group of impoverished Gonds in Bijapur (Chhattisgarh), bordering Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, were stripped of their innocence last week by Union home minister P. Chidambaram. He questioned their claim that security forces massacred 22 unarmed and innocent tribals at Korseguda, a village of 50-odd huts, barely three kilometres from the CRPF camp at Basaguda in the BJP-ruled state.

    As day broke on June 29, police claims of a “major breakthrough” in the fight against deadly Maoists had been blown to smithereens: a dozen of those killed were less than 16 years of age; seven had just a “criminal record”. Still, Chidambaram could barely conceal his sarcasm when he said he was “deeply sorry” but only “if a completely innocent life was lost”. He had already complimented the CRPF on its courage and skill in conducting the operation. He went on to add that the force, “under him”, had nothing to hide and, perhaps more importantly, nothing to fear. Although criticised for his “premature articulation”, Chidambaram stuck his neck out again to say that the encounter was not only transparent but also justified.

    Never at a loss for words, the home minister even kept a straight face when reminded of his cabinet colleague Union tribal affairs minister Kishore Chandra Deo’s criticism of the “fake encounter”. While Deo went public with his dismay at the massacre, which he described as “completely unacceptable”, Chidambaram remained defiant and stuck to his position. “I share the anguish of my cabinet colleague,” was all he was prepared to concede even as he ruled out ordering an inquiry. Law and order being a state subject, it was for the Chhattisgarh government to decide if an inquiry was indeed required. For the home ministry, the case was closed.

    On his part, CRPF director-general K. Vijay Kumar was even more aggressive in defending the botched operation and the unconsciously high collateral damage. The CRPF, he said in an interview, was not “a rag-tag and irresponsible militia” even while reluctantly conceding the possibility that some innocent lives could have been lost. Bullets, he philosophised, were blind and did not discriminate on grounds of gender or age. It was a dark night, he claimed, and the CRPF contingent, led by a dig, was merely following standard operating procedure in firing to kill when they came under fire. The contrast could not be sharper. In the summer of 2010, in Srinagar, the CRPF bore the brunt of several hundred stone-pelting youth day after day, but mostly held their fire. Excessive collateral damage in Srinagar would have brought the government down, but in Bastar, the massacre was a blip that robbed nobody of sleep.

    In both Raipur and in New Delhi, officials shrugged gravely and wondered what else could have been done “in the dead and dark of the night”. It was not possible for them to see in the dark, they argued. But had they checked the almanac, they would have found that it was a moonlit night, not pitch dark. Moreover, the CRPF is now equipped with night vision devices and it’s unlikely they’d have been on a night operation without night vision binoculars. The excuse just does not wash.

    Whatever its top brass may say, there is overwhelming evidence that Op Silgerh ended up as an exercise gone horribly wrong. Not only did it fail in its objective, it also ended up with too many loose ends. It had been in planning for 10 days, relying both on intelligence input and technology to track Maoist movements. The CRPF identified Silgerh, between Basaguda and Jagarmunda, as the place where the Maoists would be meeting. Then 800 armed men set out from three different camps at Basaguda, Jagarmunda and Chintalnar (see graphic) at night. The troops from Jagarmunda were ferried by chopper to an abandoned checkpost in the forest, from where they were to move on foot toward Silgerh.

    By the CRPF’s own admission, the jawans from Basaguda and Chintalnar did not even reach Silgerh, or reached after daybreak. And when they did, they did not find the training camp they’d set out to bust. Despite all their tracking, the Maoists seemed to have given them the slip. Worse, the troops from Basaguda opened fire on a group of villagers at Sakerguda, barely three km from their camp. The two other encounters that night took place elsewhere and did not involve Op Silgerh men.

    There were certainly no Maoists in Sakerguda that night, claims a survivor, Class 10 student Kaka Sarika. Talking to the BBC, she said, “Villagers were sitting in the open, finalising details of an impending festival and discussing who could till the land, when the security forces surrounded us and started firing.” Sarika herself tried to run for cover and claims that one of the jawans pinned her to the ground to protect her from the bullets flying overhead. But another jawan, she alleges, tried to misbehave with her. There were several young men and teens, she recalls, who lay writhing on the ground while jawans hurled obscenities at them and grilled them for information.

    Village sarpanch Markam Lakshman was away on an errand and escaped the massacre. His absence from the village raises doubts about the “midnight meeting”, which the Chhattisgarh government insists was being held to plan a “big attack” on the CRPF. The sarpanch also claims the villagers’ meeting was already scheduled and there was no question of Maoist presence.

    The BBC correspondent at Raipur, Salman Ravi, told Outlook, “When I visited the place, villagers complained that two of the dead bodies were dressed up in uniform and weapons before being photographed, to make them look like members of the Maoist armed squads.” Ravi also found used cartridges fired from Insas rifles and AK-47 assault rifles strewn in the area.

    That it was a plan gone awfully wrong was also evident in the photograph of the dead bodies laid on the ground. The still photo shows the dead as rather young, many of them clad in just vests and shorts, frail and poor—a far cry from dreaded “enemies of the state” waging war on the nation.

    Civil rights activist Swami Agnivesh recalls that he began getting calls on his phone early on Friday morning, informing him of the massacre of the innocents. “Let there be an independent investigation; either a judicial inquiry or an investigation by an sit,” he demanded. But while neither New Delhi nor Raipur seemed in favour of an inquiry saying it would only demoralise the forces, former solicitor-general Soli Sorabjee said an independent inquiry could well vindicate the CRPF’s story.

    If you see it in a larger context, the encounter could not have come at a worse time. Villagers at Sakerguda, Rajpet and Korseguda—a cluster of hamlets, collectively the Korseguda panchayat—were first evacuated by security forces in 2008, in the wake of the Salwa Judum ‘experiment’, and allowed to return a year later. The situation was improving gradually and a proactive district magistrate had succeeded in instilling confidence in the people. The unnecessary encounter appears to have set the clock back. It would now take several years before their confidence is restored, say villagers in the area. A newspaper headline summed up the growing public scepticism—‘Top Naxals are two 15-yr-old toppers’. Two of the boys, Nagesh and Ramvilas, were among the three students selected by their school to visit Visakhapatnam in January this year. Here, they got their first glimpse of the sea and ships, inspiring the awed duo to dream of becoming mariners. India’s “biggest Maoist encounter” brought that dream to a brutal end.

    Twenty-year-old Sarita, the first woman from the village to be pursuing a professional course in BSc (Nursing) in Jagdalpur, 220 km away, lost her brother, Kaka Samaiya, in the encounter. “First they kill us,” she says, “then tell us we are Naxals. Search the entire village and see if you can find even a single weapon. Can’t they at least say sorry?”

    Grain, Chaff & The Truth

    A few unanswered questions...

    Police claim: The encounter took place past midnight. CRPF sources claim to have started off on foot from their camp at Basaguda, barely three km away from the encounter spot, at 9 pm on June 28.
    Counterclaim: Villagers ask if very fit CRPF men require three hours or more to traverse 3 km. They say some of the villagers were killed at 6 am.
    Police claim: Maoists, who had managed to escape after firing at troops, were holding a midnight meeting
    Counterclaim: The troops from Basaguda were headed for Silgerh, 12 km away, where the Maoists were allegedly meeting. Would the Maoists have relocated to Sakerguda, three km from the CRPF camp, and invited an encounter? Villagers claim they were meeting to finalise details of an impending festival and decide who’d till the plots abandoned by people who had moved away from the village.
    Police claim: It was a dark night; it was difficult to see
    Counterclaim: June 28 was a moonlit night, according to the almanac. The CRPF forces are also armed with night vision binoculars. The excuse doesn’t wash.
    Police claim: Seven of the dead were Maoists
    Counterclaim: As many as 22 people were killed that night, 18 of them at Sakerguda. The rest were killed in two other encounters elsewhere in the district. Officials claim seven of them had ‘police or criminal records’. The majority, by implication, were innocent. Villagers say all were innocent, lived in the village and had BPL, ration cards or voter ID cards.
    Police claim: We too sustained injuries. Six CRPF jawans were injured.
    Counterclaim: Two of the jawans were injured when they slipped and fell to the ground. Two others wounded by pellets. The remaining two sustained bullet injuries. Villagers claim they were shot by troops which had surrounded the villagers.
    Police claim: A proper post-mortem was conducted
    Counterclaim: A team of three doctors—an orthopaedist, a child specialist and an MBBS doctor—conducted post-mortem in the open. They identified the entry and exit points of bullets, most of them above the waist, photographed the bodies and allowed them to be cremated.
     
  15. Stories of the Dead - Indian Express


    excerpt from the article above . . .


    Kottaguda village

    1Saraswati. 12 years. The youngest victim. No Naxal record. Never went to school. Stayed at home or played in the fields. Her family does not have any belonging of hers left. Mother Kaka Sinakka searches for her photograph, fails. They cremated everything along with her body a few hundred metres away. Father Kaka Rama is a marginal farmer, grows mostly rice and tamarind.

    2Kaka Samaiyya. 35-40 years. No Naxal record. Survived by four children and wife Kaka Negi. His sister Kaka Sarita, 20, is the first girl in many villages in the region to study beyond class XII and take admission in a professional course. She is studying for her BSc (Nursing) 220 km away, in Jagdalpur, and lives in a hostel. She returned home a day after the incident. She doesn’t know when or how she will resume her studies.

    3Kaka Nagesh alias Rahul. 15 years. A class X student of a government residential school in neighbouring Basaguda, “he was the brightest among us”, says classmate Irpa Sandeep. Rahul, Sandeep and Madkam Ramvilas, another teenager who was killed in the encounter, visited Visakhapatnam on an education tour organised by the school in January. Awed by the sea and the ships in the coastal town, he instantly dreamt of becoming a mariner. He was good at mathematics and villagers say they had called him to the meeting that night to calculate the amount required per head for Beej Pundum, a village function. In his notebook were calculations he had made a month ago for the function.

    In his press conference after the encounter, Home Minister P Chidambaram called Rahul an “important Naxal”. He faced two cases. One, on October 24, 2009, when he was 12 and, according to the police, fired at the police near the Talperu. Second, for allegedly firing at a police party in December 2011 near Timapur, a nearby village. But for the past three years, Rahul had been living in a hostel adjoining the Basaguda thana and a CRPF camp, but the police never arrested him. Father Kaka Narain died years ago of tuberculosis. Mother Kaka Laxmi and Rahul’s three siblings show his newly bought books. Aunt Kamla is a mitanin prerak (midwife trainer) of the panchayat.

    4Madkam Ramvilas15 years. No Naxal record.. He was Rahul’s classmate. His family says he always got a first division, was good at English. His Sanskrit notebook has a curious entry on the second page: “Thou, Thee, Thy, Thine ka prayog adhunik angrezi mein nahi paya jata hai. Ye shabd ishwar ke liye ya kavita mein prayog ho sakta hai. (Thou, Thee, Thy, Thine are not used in modern English. They can be used for God or in poems).” His sister Ratna has kept the class X books he was to study this year. Another notebook has an NOC written by him in Hindi on behalf of his mother Nagamma before his Visakhapatnam school tour. “I have no objection in sending my son. The school will not be held responsible for any anhonee (unforeseen circumstances) during the travel.”
    . . . .

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/stories-of-the-dead/971583/0
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Army tip: ask IPS officers to fight Maoists

    New Delhi, July 8: The Union ministry of home affairs is back to the drawing board on its counter-Maoist strategy, consulting military experts and comparing experiences since the June 28-29 shooting in Chhattisgarh in which an estimated 22 villagers were killed.

    In one of a series of meetings, a senior officer from the Army Headquarters gave blunt advice to Union home secretary R.K. Singh: “Get your IPS officers to command battalions and lead from the front instead of making them babus behind desks.”

    On the intervening night of June 28 and 29, 22 tribals, said to be unarmed, were killed in two separate attacks by the Central Reserve Police Force in south Chhattisgarh.

    A total of 17 were killed in Sakerguda, 3km from a CRPF camp at Basaguda. Of those killed, 12 were under 16 years of age and two were 12-year-olds. Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh alleged they were used as “human shields” by the Maoists and Union home minister P. Chidambaram has said he was “deeply sorry if innocents” had been killed.

    In the Indian Army, that is involved in training central and state police forces for counter-Maoist operations, there is the feeling that the CRPF and the central police organisations are not suitably trained and lack leadership skills at the tactical level.

    The Army Headquarters has also advised the home ministry that the CRPF should change from the company and platoon-level deployment to battalion-level deployment. This advice was given after a ministry of home affairs official told a military adviser that the CRPF had adopted the army’s Kashmir model of “grid deployment”.

    The army’s advice was also reflected in a paper presented by a former army officer, Brigadier (retired) Rumel Dahiya, now adviser (net assessment and defence studies) at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis.

    In a paper presented at the army-backed think-tank Centre For Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), Brig. Dahiya wrote: “Presently the CRPF is employed in company and platoon lots and often attached to police stations or to the district police. There is no specific area of operations assigned to CRPF battalions under the command of their commanding officer. Companies are often commanded by inspectors in their 50s who neither have the energy and stamina nor motivation to fight an invisible opponent with thorough knowledge of terrain and enjoying local support.”

    The senior officer from the Army Headquarters, who was advising the home ministry, was surprised to learn that no IPS officer is commandant of a battalion of the CRPF. IPS officers join the force only at the level of deputy inspector-general and upwards. Commandants are junior and are drawn from the CRPF’s own cadre.

    The officer said this was contrary to the practice in the army in which lieutenants, captains and majors command sections, platoons and companies before rising to command battalions as lieutenant colonel or colonel.

    This means that the men they command know that their commanding officer is worthy of leading by example.

    In fact, even as the counter-Maoist operations have led to a greater interaction between the military and the police, the differences between the two types of forces have become even starker. A military adviser from the Army Headquarters has been attached to the home ministry for the past four years.

    Not only the army, but also the air force has been complaining that the central and state police organisations are not following standard operating procedures or routing their requests through the right channels. Although the army is not directly involved in the counter-Maoist operations, it has two battalions deployed in south Chhattisgarh for more than a year for training.

    But the Chhattisgarh government has not yet given the army maps for it to move into the “manoeuvre range” allocated to the army in the Marh region. The vice-chief of army staff, Lt General S.K. Singh, had also visited Chhattisgarh recently.

    The differences in the styles of functioning were most apparent when Union home secretary R.K. Singh visited Chintalnar in Chhattisgarh.

    Chintalnar is the CRPF camp just a kilometre from Mukram where 76 policemen were killed by Maoists on April 6, 2010, in the largest insurgent strike in 60 years.

    Officials accompanying the home secretary spent a tense one hour waiting for an Indian Air Force helicopter to pick him up from the Maoist hotbed.

    A group of about a dozen officials, including R.K. Singh, flew from Raipur to Chintalnar. The helicopter dropped the officials at the spot and flew back to Jagdalpur because the IAF cannot switch off the rotors at any location except Jagdalpur and Raipur.

    “We were then communicated that since the air had become rarer because of the heat, the chopper will not be able to come on time. There was a delay of over an hour. All compulsions notwithstanding, the home secretary was left stranded at a vulnerable spot,” said an official who was part of the group at Chintalnar.

    Later, the chopper could ferry back only five persons and senior officers, including inspectors-general, had to be left behind. Another smaller helicopter was requisitioned that airlifted the remaining team.

    Security force officers said the IAF choppers had limited flying hours because of their compulsion on spares. Four choppers of Mi-17 class fly for security forces in Chhattisgarh. Compounding the situation, the ministry of civil aviation recently banned the Global Vectra group helicopters from flying, thereby cancelling the plan for wet-leased choppers from the company. “They were ready to fly 100 hours, which could have given us time to reach deeper for troops deployment in emergencies,” said an official.

    But there is another side to this “handicap” of security forces.

    Some senior police officers feel that the excessive use of helicopters have made CRPF and state police’s presence thinner on the ground. As a result, Maoists are able to block roads. “They are moving less on foot. As a result, there is little area domination. There is more reliance on helicopters to avoid casualties,” said an official from Chhattisgarh.

    Army tip: ask IPS officers to fight Maoists
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Here is something about the Police way of approaching Maoists


    ********************************

    Soft target for rebels, hard way for cops

    Ranchi, July 8: Horror has a synonym in Latehar police lexicon. It is called Hehegara.

    The halt on CIC section of East Central Railway’s Dhanbad division has seen more than a dozen Maoist attacks in three years, thanks to a mined kutcha road that can be covered only on foot and delays response time by several hours.

    As many as 22 passenger trains and 55 goods trains pass through Hehegara every day. Three years ago, a passenger train was hijacked, while blasts on tracks have been routine during Maoist bandhs. Ambushing of patrol parties has not been uncommon either.

    The vulnerability of the halt, 100km from Ranchi, came to the fore once again on July 6, when rebels forced a coal train to stop in the dead of night and demanded levy from Hindalco that was supposed to receive the consignment.

    According to district police chief G. Kranti Kumar, Maoists are slowly and steadily turning the remote railway halt into a base station for striking deals with industrial houses.

    On Friday, the coal train left Rai for Hindalco’s Renukoot plant, but was intercepted at Hehegara at 1.30am. Maoists took the driver’s mobile phone and spoke to senior company executives.

    The high-voltage drama went on for some three hours while other passenger and goods trains remained stranded at various stations. Police managed to reach the halt only at 5am. The rebels were gone by then.

    Kumar contended that the nearest police station was Barwadih, 18km away, and it took the force over three hours and a half to reach Hehegara. “There is no pucca road to this railway halt and rebels lay landmine traps almost everywhere. At night, we cannot rush. To avoid an ambush, jawans have to trek cautiously and only after cross-checking information,” he said.

    A police officer said that the topography was such that a permanent police picket would be risky too. “Latehar is covered by dense forests. In fact, you walk 2km from the district headquarters and you are inside the woods, where rebels will always have an advantage,” he added.

    Another officer pointed out that making industrialists and businessmen cough up hefty levy was the easiest way for Maoists to replenish their resources — from arms and ammunition to food and water.

    “And Hehegara provides the perfect opportunity because police will never be able to catch them in the act unless they drive on the mined road instead of walk,” he added.

    Soft target for rebels, hard way for cops
     

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