The state police are on high alert as Naxalites prepare to observe Martyrs’ Week or Shaheed Saptah across the nation, starting Tuesday.
Tension is brewing in the jungle areas of Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts, bordering Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, following a week-long bandh called by Maoists to observe the death anniversary of communist revolutionary Charu Majumdar. Majumdar was among those who had headed a militant peasant uprising in Naxalbari in North Bengal in the 1960s.
Police sources said they have received intelligence inputs that Naxalites are planning an attack or ambush this week.
“They have seen more success this year in terms of attacks so they may want to do something bigger,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“We have identified specific patches in the interiors and deployed forces there.”
“The state police are taking adequate precautions in view of the bandh and have sounded a high alert in all the Naxalite-prone areas,” said Pankaj Gupta, state additional director general of police (Anti-Naxalite Operations).
Anticipating the Naxalite violence in these three troubled districts — Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur — during the period, additional police force is being deployed to tackle the challenge.
Security has been especially beefed up along the border areas given the recent spate of attacks on police personnel there. This year, 34 police personnel were killed in three separate attacks near Dhanora.
Rajesh Pradhan, district police superintendent of Gadchiroli, said: “Policemen and paramilitary forces have already been deployed at key locations, including Dhanora-Rajnandgaon highway, bordering Chhattisgarh.”
The district police, the state anti-naxal commando force C60 and the Special Action Group are being assisted by additional forces sent from the state police headquarters in Mumbai.