Monday, July 13, 2009

More Naxal attacks feared in Chhattisgarh


Raipur: A day after Naxals struck in Chhattisgarh thrice and killed at least 36 policemen including a district police chief, the state was put on high alert on Monday.

The state has been battling Naxals since the 1980s.

Police forces were asked to be vigilant and cautious while rushing to forested areas for patrolling, as police have received fresh inputs that the banned terror outfit, Communist Party of India-Maoist's (CPI-Maoist) military wing, People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) fighters are itching for more deadly attacks.

"They are striking now as per their will and we have lost an SP rank officer in a Maoist attack for the first time," a senior official at the state police headquarters in Raipur told IANS.

"If the intelligence inputs coming in from western and southern regions of the state are to be believed, the police are going to be under more attacks," he said.

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Police claim that it was PLGA cadres that carried out meticulously planned attacks three times on Sunday, right from morning to evening, in the state's remote western pockets in Rajnandgaon district, bordering Maharashtra, that left atleast 31 police personnel dead and about two dozen injured.

The deceased included Rajnandgaon district SP Vinod Kumar Choubey, 49.

He was on top of a hit-list of insurgents for a long time for breaking up the rebels' urban network in state capital Raipur and the industrial town of Bhilai.

Officials say that about 13 policemen are still missing after Sunday's attacks that have shaken up the entire police set up as well as the state's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. The Opposition Congress has sought urgent imposition of president's rule to tame the insurgents.

"It's not the time for the opposition to play politics but all political parties, intellectuals and people of the state should rally behind the police who have all the resources and strength to hit back," said Chief Minister Raman Singh.

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