Sunday, August 21, 2005

West Bengal Police take steps to keep off rebels

DEBABRATA MOHANTY

Bhubaneswar, Aug 21: The state police have stepped up security measures in districts bordering Andhra Pradesh to ward off a possible spurt in Naxalite activities.

After the Andhra Pradesh government banned the CPI (Maoist) and seven other frontal left wing organisations, the police top brass is apparently in a quandary over the probable ramifications of the Naxalite activities in the state.

The Maoists who have set up a base in most of the bordering districts are active in a limited way, with most of their violence related to the killing of informers.

There have been no assassinations of any major political leaders at least in the bordering districts unlike in Andhra Pradesh where many prominent personalities, including senior politicians, have fallen to Maoist bullets.

But now police on this side of the border are worried as the ban in AP could activate the radical movement in Orissa especially in the districts such as Gajapati.

The reason being that once the hardcore radicals enter Orissa and settle down, they will take interest in the day to day affairs of the area where they have settled. The radicals come in groups of 12-14 and they move in the same group, always keeping an eye on any police movement. They choose localities that are not communicable by road or where there is less chance of any strangers entering the area.

The ban could spell problems for the state, as all their top leaders would head for Orissa where they can take safe shelter in the mountains.

State director-general of police Suchit Das has already called an emergency meeting of senior police officials and issued instructions to beef up the combing operations and patrolling in border areas.

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