After a two-month flip-flop by the state’s political leadership on armed action against the Maoists, the Jharkhand police on Tuesday launched a joint inter-state operation against the Left extremists. They were helped by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the West Bengal police.
The joint operation was launched from two strategic locations in the state’s East Singhbhum and West Singhbhum districts, bordering Purulia and West Midnapore districts of West Bengal. The operation began a day after Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren told the state assembly that his government had decided to launch a major offensive against the Maoists.
More than 30 companies of the Jharkhand police and central para-military forces have been engaged in the operation. Four helicopters are maintaining vigil on Maoist movement.
“A joint operation has been launched from the Jharkhand-West Bengal border in East Singhbhum district and Bandgaon-Sonua-Goelkera forest range in West Singhbhum district,” Vijay Raman, special director general, CRPF, who is supervising the anti-Maoist offensive, told HT. “Our forces have entered remote forest areas. We have succeeded in locating and destroying some of their (Maoists’) hideouts,” he said, adding that no top Maoist leader had, however, been arrested so far. Besides the CRPF and the Jharkhand Jaguar force, specialised forces of West Bengal are taking part in the operation, CRPF DIG Alok Raj said. Soren had told the Jharkhand assembly on Monday that the state was capable of handling Maoist threat.