Post Maha attack, alert sounded in UP’s Naxal-affected areas
The state police have sounded alert in Uttar Pradesh’s three Naxal-affected districts and the several kilometres long porous India-Nepal border after the Maoist attack in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Wednesday.
Senior police officials said the alert was taken seriously as a huge haul of weapons and explosives was recovered from the house of a Naxal rebel in Sonbadhra district only a month ago.
Inspector general (IG) of police, Law and Order, Praveen Kumar said the alert was sounded after inputs from central intelligence agencies about the possibilities of Naxal activities to interrupt the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. He said the alert was sounded in Sonbadhra, Chandauli and Mirzapur districts that were Naxal-affected in the past, as well as in eight districts along India-Nepal border.
Kumar said a circular had been issued to police chiefs of the three Naxal-affected districts to sensitize the force. They were asked to intensify vigil and check suspicious people and vehicles.
Notably, UP’s eight districts touch the India- Nepal border, namely Pilibhit, Lakhmipur Kheri, Bahraich, Balrampur, Shravasti, Siddharthnagar, Mahrajganj and Kushinagar. Police officials said the open border offered opportunities to Maoists trained on foreign soil to infiltrate and pose a threat to national security.
A senior Anti Terror Squad official said on a specific input, the house of Naxal rebel Manoj Chero was raided in Sonbhadra and weapons and explosives recovered but the rebel managed to escape. He said Manoj was later arrested in Jharkhand only few days after the recovery from his house.
The officer said it was a general trait of Naxal rebels to interrupt elections to express their displeasure in the democratic government, so there were possibilities that they may try to carry out attacks like in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Wednesday.
To note, Maoist rebels triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) on Wednesday, blowing up a vehicle carrying crack C-60 commandos in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district, killing 15 of them and the driver.