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Maoist map turf to outdo forces

india Updated: Apr 19, 2010 23:16 IST
Manish Tiwari
Manish Tiwari
Hindustan Times
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The Maoists are gearing up for “modern warfare” and are marking their territory. They are developing a geographic information system (GIS) to take on security forces that have turned to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to track the rebel hideouts in hills and dense forests.

A GIS typically collects, stores and analyses data about a place or an area.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has told the government that the Maoists are preparing for a long haul and will use technology and devise “out-of-box solutions” to counter it.

They have collected all possible details about their areas of influence — Isro is doing the same via satellite images — and keeping up with technology to take on the security forces.

The rebels have factored in air raids and laser-guided missile strikes while collecting data so as to have the escape routes drawn in tough terrains, an IB official told HT on condition of anonymity.

The plan is laid out in “Geographic Information System in Modern Warfare”, recently recovered by intelligence agencies. The document was printed by the Awam-e-Jung publication of the central military commission of the CPI (Maoists) in March. It talks about the memorandum of understanding the CRPF signed with Isro in March 2008 for cooperation in counter-insurgency operations. The CRPF is at the forefront of the anti-Maoists operation.

GIS data of Naxal strongholds will enable a quick deployment of forces and can also be used for precision strikes through air and guided missiles.

The Naxals had taken the cheaper way out for information, said the official. Net is their hunting ground and Google Earth the favoured weapon.

As they can’t have access satellites, the Naxals were looking to collect digitised topographical maps of the Survey of India, the agency responsible for mapping and surveys.