Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beltangady: Combing Operations Intensified Following Naxal Visit

Daijiworld Media Network - Beltangady (SP)

Beltangady, May 26: After reports said that armed naxals had visited Mapalu in Naravi village on Sunday May 24, the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) has intensified its combing operations in the region.

On Monday May 25, ANF personnel including the deputy superintendent of police level officers took part in combing operations. The combing was conducted in villages like Naravi, Kutloor, Kotyandadka area but the policemen could not get any traces of naxal movement there. There are possibilities that the naxals might have moved through the hilly forest region to reach the neighbourhood of Sringeri through Kanyalu.

Initially, the rumours about the naxal visit were not given much credence, as the visitors had not left behind things like pamphlets, graffiti etc., which they normally do. The people, whom the naxals spoke to, also had kept the news of the visit under wraps. The villagers were afraid of earning the wrath of the naxals and the interrogation by the policemen. Later, it was revealed that the team of 10 naxals included four women. The gang of armed youngsters clad in uniforms, had sought support of the villagers in their fight against eviction of people from forests. They had also asked the locals not to reveal the fact of their visit to the policemen.

The naxals had visited the village this time around, last year too. Some suspect, that the visit might just be a plan to give a message that they continue to be active in the Western Ghats. Even though a call to boycott the elections in the name of naxals had appeared in some villages in the form of pamphlets during the recent Lok Sabha election, some had said it was not the handiwork of the naxals but of some mischief mongers.

The naxal movement in the region has given rise to concern among the policemen. As they can not leave anything to chance, they are forced to comb the forest areas. The fact that they did not get immediate information of the naxal visit speaks about the poor intelligence network they have in villages. In the meantime, the rainy season threatens complicate their task.

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