Friday, June 19, 2009

CoBRA team to move in only after villagers' evacuation

New Delhi (PTI): Nearly 120 personnel of the newly formed specialised anti-Naxal force — CoBRA — currently on standby in Lalgarh area of West Bengal, will move in for a final assault only after evacuation of villagers, Home Ministry sources said.

The sources said importance was given to dispersing the human shield comprising women and children before the elite commando team moved in.

"CoBRA is meant for resolute action. Once State police and paramilitary personnel clear the village of innocent men, women and children, the specialised team will move in to take on the heavily armed Naxals," the sources said.

They said the CoBRA personnel were airlifted from Orissa only after specific inputs were received suggesting that senior Naxal operatives, including Koteshwar Rao, are present in the area after crossing over from neighbouring Orissa and Jharkhand.

They said Orissa and Jharkhand police have been asked to keep a strict vigil in the border areas as they felt that top Naxal leaders would try to move out once the force advanced further.

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