Major anti-Naxalite operation is in offing in Bastar after Diwali | india | Hindustan Times
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Major anti-Naxalite operation is in offing in Bastar after Diwali

After a temporary break from of joint action in south Bastar against the naxalites, the Chhattisgarh government is planning a major offensive against the Left-wing rebels in the jungle areas of Bastar immediately after Diwali with the help of para-military forces. Pradip Kumar Maitra reports.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2009 22:30 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

After a temporary break from of joint action in south Bastar against the naxalites, the Chhattisgarh government is planning a major offensive against the Left-wing rebels in the jungle areas of Bastar immediately after Diwali with the help of para-military forces. The joint operation was withdrawn due to lack of a proper communication network, food, water and inhospitable conditions.

The state is getting seven battalions of Border Security Force (BSF) and CRPF (7,000 jawans) for such action in North Bastar alone and of them around 1,000 personnel have already reached in the state. “We have already engaged 12,000 jawans, including para-military and state armed forces in Bastar to curb naxal menace while the region would get another seven battalions of central forces for the proposed operation,” a top police officer informed.

Almost all the naxalite-affected areas of Bastar have now become a police chhaoni and anyone can see that the trucks are reaching in various police stations in remotes areas with the BSF jawans. The massive operation against the rebels could have been launched after the Dasera but it was postponed in view of state elections in Gadchiroli of Maharashtra, another naxalite-prone region, bordering Bastar. Over 3,500 BSF personnel have already reached Gadchiroli for the October elections. “These BSF jawans would be shifted to Bastar for the operation by middle of next month immediately after the elections,” informs Manoj Kumar Sharma, additional SP of Gadchiroli.

An officer of the rank of Additional DGP from the CRPF will coordinate the proposed operation with the help from state police personnel. The Addl DGP will be based either in Dantewada or Jagdalpur, a senior police official informed.

Bastar IG LJ Longkumer said, “We are already geared up for the offensive against the Maoists. We have successfully materialised two major operations within two months--- Green Hunt in August and now the Red Hunt in South Bastar against the naxalites. And both the operations have boost up the morale of police forces,” he claimed.

The IG said that the state police were taking step by step action against the naxalites so that it would able to wipe out the menace once for all. “We are facing guerrilla warfare and hence there is a need for a calculative move to crush them,” Longkumer pointed out.

Scared with the reinforcement in the state machinery, the CPI (Maoist) alleged that such action would only devastate the region. “Naxalites are not extremists but people of the area who are fighting against oppression. We demand for the withdrawal of such battalions against genocides,” says Ramanna, military chief of Dandyakaranya Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist).

Meanwhile, the three-day massive counter offensive against Naxalite in south Bastar region which compelled the joint action force to retreat because of lack of communication network, food and water had exposed the state machinery how it was casual in development works since Independence in backward Bastar region that became an advantage of Maoists.

The colossal backward in the region could be gauged from the fact that the state police and the elite CoBRA commandos had to reach at Simghanmadgu village and its neighbouring areas from four corners as a part of strategy to surround the Maoists from all directions, by walking to over 30 kms as there was no approachable roads.

Moreover, almost all the forces had to go first Bhadrachalam region of neighbouring AP and from there they had to walk for reaching the site which was later regained by the naxalites on Tuesday. A parallel government is being run by the naxalites in these areas of over 200 sq kms where there is no school, no electricity, no rations shops for poor and no primary health centre for health care.