“Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.” No, it’s not a part culled out from famous English rock band The Police’s 1983 classic number. It’s a startling revelation about how tech-savvy Maoist rebels, operating from jungles of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, are keeping tabs on activities of security forces.
Recovery of hi-tech Japanese wireless sets from jungles in Chhattisgarh recently has pointed towards a strong possibility of Maoist rebels intercepting security forces’ strategic planning against them.
‘50% of Maoist cadres could be armed with Japanese wireless sets’
Sources, who are part of Madhay Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra police’s joint anti-Maoist operations in dense forests of the three states, said 50% of Maoist cadres operating in these jungles could be armed with the Japanese wireless sets.
The high-end set, which could be priced at above Rs 70,000, is capable of operating on 100-odd frequency channels.
Detailed analysis of the wireless set recovered from Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district following a gun battle has revealed that only 35-odd frequency channels were visible while other 70-odd channels were hidden. The analysis also revealed that out of 35-odd visible frequency channels detected by the police in the wireless sets, over 90% were frequencies being used to communicate during major anti-Maoists operations.
Attempts to crack other hidden frequency channels failed as the sets have been programmed in such a manner that many of the frequency channels in use automatically got jumped during scanning, informed sources told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
“Prior to recovery of these wireless sets, it was known that Maoist rebels in the three bordering states of central and west India were using low end Chinese wireless technology or sets looted from ambushed security teams in different states. But the recovery of Japanese wireless sets with advanced features and their subsequent analysis have raised a strong possibility of the outlawed group is easily listening to our plans during operations,” said a senior officer, a part of the joint operations in the three states.
With the Maoists powering their wireless sets through pencil batteries and solar panels, even the battery back-up of these high end sets span up to two weeks, compared to 5-8 hours back up offered by wireless sets being used by security forces.
Further, the police are only allowed to use their sets on higher bandwidth. Hence, the communication link of their sets is confined to 3-5 km. On the contrary, the Maoists are using both lower and higher end radio frequency bandwidth to listen to police plans up to a range of 10-15 km.
Cops rely on satellite phones
Investigations have revealed that at present, 100-odd AK-47 and other automatic weapons wielding Maoist cadres is active in Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh), Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh) and Gondia (Maharashtra). Around 50% of them - divided into groups of 10-15 - could be using the hi-end Japanese wireless set to keep a tab of police plans and movement.
Alarmed over the new development, the police in the three districts are using satellite phones instead of wireless communications during major operations.
When contacted over recent seizure of Japanese wireless sets, inspector general of police (IG-Balaghat) in Madhya Pradesh, DC Sagar said, “The sets were seized in Chhattisgarh, but they are yet to be completely unlocked.” He, however, confirmed that frequencies of seized sets were similar to frequencies of wireless sets being used by security forces.
50% of Maoist cadres operating in these jungles could be armed with the Japanese wireless sets.
The high-end set, which could be priced at above `70,000, is capable of operating on 100-odd frequency channels.
Only 35-odd frequency channels were visible while other 70-odd channels were hidden.
Out of 35-odd visible frequency channels detected by the police in the wireless sets, over 90% were frequencies being used to communicate during major anti-Maoists operations.
Sets have been programmed in such a manner that many frequency channels in use automatically got jumped during scanning.