Saturday, May 30, 2009

Naxal threat to forest dept HQ at Alapalli

31 May 2009, 0521 hrs IST, Mazhar Ali, TNN

CHANDRAPUR: After successful onslaught against police parties and series of arson attacks on forest depots and vehicles in recent months, Naxalites
now have on their radar ‘Vansampada’, the joint headquarters of Allapalli, Bhamragarh and Sironcha forest division, located at Allapalli in Gadchiroli under the South Chandrapur Forest Circle. Senior forest officials have verbally alerted the police department about the threat to Vansampada.

Forest officials said they have received reliable information that Naxalites may target the Vansampada building located at Allapalli in Aheri tehsil. They have alerted the police and sought efficient security measures.

“Alapalli DCF Rishikesh Ranjan informed Aheri police station in-charge about the threat to Vansampada, the headquarters of three forest divisions in Gadchiroli, from Naxalites, citing their own sources. However, till now they (forest officials) have not filled any written complaint in this regard,” additional SP Jai Kumar told TOI.

The multi-storey building named Vansampada (forest wealth) located on Gadchiroli-Allapalli road in Allapalli is the headquarters of the forest department in Gadchiroli. Offices of the divisional forest officers of Allapalli, Bhamragarh and Sironcha forest division are located in the same building. This year has proven to be an year of successes for Naxalites in Gadchiroli. They have not only managed successful attacks on police parties but have also carried out many arson attacks on forest depots and forest vehicles in remote jungle areas in the recent months. It is alarming for the police department if they have now decided to target the forest headquarters.

“The information of the threat to Vansampada came from forest department sources. Verification of the source to confirm reliability of the information is underway, but we are not taking this lightly.”

“We have advised forest officials to strengthen their security arrangements too, while we are overhauling security measures on our part,” said Jai Kumar. He said that security in the area is already on alert and night patrolling is also being carried out stringently. Aheri PSO SA Chaudhari admitted receiving information from forest officials about the threat to Vansampada, but refused to divulge details. Forest officials including CF Mahip Gupta and DCF Rishikesh Ranjan could not be reached for comment.

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