Saturday, June 06, 2009

Movement in Chhattisgarh, effects in Maharastra

7 Jun 2009, 0544 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN

NAGPUR: The ongoing intense Naxal movement in adjoining Chhattisgarh, which shares its boundary with Maharashtra in Gadchiroli, is being viewed as
main reason for the increased violence by the rebels in the state which has claimed 34 security personnel since 01/02 Markegaon carnage.

Sources said that Naxals have eight divisions under Dandakaranya special zonal committee. North (covering from Dhanora to Etapalli) and South (Aheri to Asar Alli) Gadchiroli divisions are active in the state. Six strong divisions, including Manpur, North Bastar, Madh, South Bastar, west Bastar and Dharbha, functions in Chhattisgarh. Out of six, five strong divisions are directly influencing the movements along the border in Gadchiroli.

Police department, which has sent a proposal for at least 14 more armed outposts in Gadchiroli, have also initiated a process to reorient their administrative jurisdictions and planning for further reinforcements of paramilitary forces. Gadchiroli, bifurcated into North and South, would be having two officers of superintendent of police ranks. North and South Gadchiroli SPs, along with Gondia SP, would work under an officer of deputy inspector general (DIG) rank who would be heading the range of three SPs. Nagpur range has been proposed to be separated from Gadchiroli and Gondia.

Along with state anti-Naxal operation (ANO) cell, special action group (SAG) would be shifted to Gadchiroli where a chopper would be stationed permanently. While maximum force of district police would be set aside for law and order, ANO would be given additional strength with a combine force of C-60 commandos, SAG, paramilitary forces, special anti-Naxal force and some from the district police.

Manpur division is close to Gadchiroli’s heavily affected Murumgaon and Markegaon villages, North Bastar adjoins Pendhri and Kasansur areas, Madh division is close to Bhamragadh and Gatta, South Bastar is close to Sironcha while Asar Alli and adjoining villages are close to west Bastar divisions. Sources said that each of these divisions in Chhattisgarh comprises two to three platoons and one company dalam along with Local Guerrilla squad, two to three military platoons and jan militia platoons of armed village supporters under a dalam member.

If the proximity of the Naxal strongholds in Chhattisgarh has been cited as one of the main reasons, the recent amalgamation of platoon dalams to form Border platoon has increased Naxal violence. Local intelligence source at Gadchiroli also pointed out that the district is witnessing a spurt in the movement after the potent Dandakaranya Special Zonal committee started reorganising their strength in the affected district.
The revamped Naxal force, under Mangal Korchami, alias Diwakar, and Sujan Singh Markham, alias Rajesh, have ensured a fresh lease of life in the movement with their aggressive approach. Unlike in the past, Naxals have formed a marauding assault group of around 150-200 cadres, handpicking them from local, platoons and company dalams, with sophisticated weapons. The organisational reforms have worked in favour of the Naxals which inflicted three major blows to Gadchiroli police since February including the latest at Hatti Gota (25/05) that claimed 16 police personnel. At least two dalams from Chhattisgarh, including Pana Baras which was active along the borders, have also started lending their shoulders to their Gadchiroli counterparts

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