CoBRA forces crush Maoists despite major hurdle
The elite anti-Naxalite force COBRA, which suffered some casualties during its offensive against Maoists in the jungles of Dantewada’s red zone in Chhattisgarh two days ago, has come up against a major hurdle — their communication system failed while tackling the Naxalites. Manish Tiwari reports.india Updated: Sep 22, 2009 02:41 IST
The elite anti-Naxalite force COBRA, which suffered some casualties during its offensive against Maoists in the jungles of Dantewada’s red zone in Chhattisgarh two days ago, has come up against a major hurdle — their communication system failed while tackling the Naxalites.
“Communication in these areas is a problem and we are trying to address it. We suffered some casualties in the process, but have been able to penetrate deep in the forest area, the stronghold of the Naxalites. Now we know the area and what they are doing there,” A S Gill, director general of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), told Hindustan Times.
Over the past few months, the Maoists had destroyed around 70 mobile towers in seven worst affected states, he said, adding the government was seized of the matter and taking appropriate measures.
Terming the operation in which over 30 Naxalites were killed in the jungles of Dantewada a success, Gill said: “For years, nobody had entered this particular area. These people (Naxalites) thought nobody could challenge them there. But four teams went into the area, destroyed their training camp and an arms manufacturing unit.” The operation would continue with full force, he added.
Commenting on the casualties suffered by the CRPF, he said: "We can't expect there to be no casualty in any operation. Unfortunately, these things will happen. "But the Naxals, he added, also suffered a serious setback they never anticipated.
Though the operations against Naxals have gained momentum in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, the 60-year-old CRPF, the country's largest paramilitary force with 2.7 lakh personnel, will be deploying additional Central forces in the Naxalite-hit states soon after the national anti-Naxalite plan is prepared.
The CRPF has intensified its operations in Chhattisgarh after posting a 1975-batch IPS officer, Vijay Raman, as its special director general at Raipur, the state capital. He has been tasked with coordinating operations with the director generals of all Naxalite-hit states for special operations and deployment of paramilitary forces.
Meanwhile, the country’s second largest paramilitary force, the Border Security Force, too is planning to deploy five battalions in Chhattisgarh to clear certain pockets of extremist Left influence. The government is likely to deploy more Central forces after the Assembly elections in October are over.
Clash in West Midnapore
Armed CPI(M) supporters and Maoists exchanged fire in West Midnapore district of West Bengal on Monday. Some people were reportedly injured. Confirming the firing by the two sides, district Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said, “A gunbattle is raging between the Maoists and CPI(M) supporters at Enaitpur. We cannot give the casualty figure right now.” (With agency inputs)