Friday, May 01, 2009

Naxals target mobile phone towers to cut off 'informers'

1 May 2009, 1713 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: Naxals, who have unleashed a reign of terror during the ongoing electioneering, are involved in attacks on mobile telephone communication
systems particularly in the last three years.

During the period, the Naxals have blown up as many as 62 mobile telephone towers in six Maoist-hit states.

Home Ministry sources said the highest number of towers, 20, were destroyed by the Naxals in Chhattisgarh where last year alone 14 mobile telephone towers of both private and government networks were attacked by the Maoists.

Towers located in Bihar, too, faced the brunt of Naxal attacks as they blew up 14 of them last year. Four other states which faced the Naxal attacks on mobile telephone towers are Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharahstra.

"Maoists believe many police informers use mobile network to inform security forces about their movement and activities which resulted arrest of several of their leaders and that is why they try to target the towers," an official said.

Jharkhand, which did not see any attack on mobile towers till 2007, saw nine such attacks which disrupted communication network in several Naxal-hit regions.

In 2005, the Maoists had blown up eight mobile towers while in 2006, they targeted just five. In 2007, the Naxals destroyed six mobile towers and in 2008, an abnormally high 43 towers were attacked.

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