Monday, August 22, 2005

Cops ponder ways to flush Naxals out of Nallamala

Monday August 22 2005 10:59 IST

VIJAYAWADA: Police have intensified efforts to obtain a position of dominance over the terrains of Nallamala forest in the wake of the reimposition of ban on the CPI (Maoist) as it is considered to be the operational base of its top men.

Due to intense anti-Naxal operations in the Telangana districts, Maoists have shifted their focus to the areas around Nallamala. The dense forest gives strategic depth for the Naxalites because of its peculiar geography.

Most of the major recent Maoist operations were routed through this forest. Whether it was killing SCs at Vempenta in Kurnool district, storming Chulukaluripet and Durgi police stations in Guntur district, attacking Prakasam SP at Ongole or killing an MLA last week in Mahbubnagar district, each and every major strike was planned and executed from the forest base.

The first public appearance of CPI (Maoist) State secretary A Hara Gopal alias Ramakrishna was also made from Nallamala forest in last October while proceeding for talks with the government.

Since then the police have been making efforts to get control over all the roads leading to the forest but with little success.

A senior police officer told this website’s newspaper that the major hurdle they had been facing was the lack of preparations of the local police to face Maoists.

He said except the Greyhound and special police parties, no one from civil police were prepared even to gather intelligence on the movements of Maoists.

However, it is not to say that all the local police are afraid of the militants. A sub-inspector’s sincere efforts in Palnadu region of Guntur district helped ‘eliminate’ the entire leadership of Janasakthi in the district.

One DSP, however, posted in Palnadu area went on leave till he was shifted to a safer region.

The police authorities are of the view that they cannot ‘win’ over Maoists without getting area dominance on Nallamala.

Despite intense combing operations for over six months they were unable to make much headway into the forest. Even the civil administration in villages close to the forest is not cooperative.

Though soon after the ban was reimposed, the government deployed two CRPF companies and is considering deployment of additional forces, a police officer said deployment of para-military forces may help only in strengthening security at police stations but it would not be enough to achieve area dominance.

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