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Maoists' strategy to counter Cobra battalion

india Updated: Oct 26, 2009 18:01 IST
Ramashankar/Alok Kumar

Is the CPI (Maoist) planning to counter the operation to be launched by the newly established central para-military force, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), in Bihar on the lines of Lalgarh in West Bengal?

If the statement of a self proclaimed zonal commander of the outfit is to be believed, a women brigade has been raised with recruits drawn from Dumaria, Bankebazar and Imamganj blocks under Sherghati sub-division of Gaya district.

The members have been prepared to offer stiff resistance to the CoBRA personnel, who are likely to be engaged in operations against Naxalites in Bihar by the end of October or at the beginning of November this year. “We have changed our strategy following the Union Government’s decision to deploy CoBRA personnel in four worst Naxal affected states,” said the Maoist leader. He said the members of the woman brigade have been trained to handle sophisticated weapons.

Under the changed strategy, the Maoists would put the trained woman commandos in front. Though use of women by Maoists in combat situations is nothing new in Bihar, this will perhaps be the first time, that they will be used as a cover for the hardened naxalite squads to take on the might of the COBRA personnel. They will mainly be used in holding operations, while the main squads prepare ambushes.

Besides, the members of the People’s Liberation of Guerilla Army (PLGA), made up of actvists and sympathisers with coyuntrymade weapons placed as frontal squad of the outfit, would also be there to challenge the security personnel. Theirs remain a delaying action role, welldefined for over six years now.

Sources said that the members of the woman brigade were being imparted training at different training camps set up in hilly terrains and forests on the Bihar-Jharkhand-UP-Chattisgarh borders. The Maoists reportedly held public meetings at two places and demonstarted their new recruits' firepower, including at one of such assemblies in Thohi forests under Dumaria police station on Tuesday. Several squads totalling a hundred women particpated in the exercises. The meetings denounced the 'latest actions' of Congress Pesident Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram.

Sources in the intelligence agencies admitted that the Maoists have changed their strategy after the Union Government’s decision to deploy CoBRA personnel in four worst naxal affected states, including Bihar and Jharkhand.