Thursday, February 04, 2010

CRPF armed with rebel dossier

AMIT GUPTA

Vijay Raman with DK Pandey (right) in Ranchi on Thursday. (Prashant Mitra)
Ranchi, Feb. 4: The police today handed over a dossier on Maoist activities in Jharkhand to CRPF bosses who are here to hold a co-ordination meeting to fine tune strategies and consolidate anti-Naxalite operations that are on in various rebel pockets, including those in Seraikela Kharsawan and Ranchi districts.

According to high-level sources, the dossier, which was handed over at a closed-door meeting of CRPF special DG and commander of anti-Naxalite task force Vijay Raman with state police top brass, contained photographs of top Maoists, their areas of operation, details about forests and hilly terrains and other intelligence inputs.

While Raman was tight-lipped about the discussions at the meeting — held at the Jharkhand police headquarters here — CRPF DIG Alok Raj told The Telegraph that the deliberations centered around ensuring 100 per cent co-operation between the state police and the CRPF during the offensive. “The operations are already on. Today, there are reports of an encounter between the police and Naxalites along the border of Seraikela-Kharsawan and Ranchi district,” said Raj.

According to a late evening report from Jamshedpur, a CRPF jawan was killed in a landmine blast in Chowka.

The Telegraph had reported yesterday that Raman’s visit to the state was to assess the level of preparedness in launching full-scale operations against Maoists. “Though the operation against rebels is on, we want a green signal to expand it,” he said over telephone on the eve of his visit.

Raj explained that various aspects about inter-state co-ordination would be finalised after Union home minister P. Chidambaram’s February 9 meeting in Calcutta that chief ministers and senior police officers of Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand were to attend.

State DGP Neyaz Ahmed said the state’s preparedness was satisfactory. “The Air Force may also be involved in the operations, but the Union home ministry will be the final authority on that. We are all ready in this fight against the ultra-Left rebels,” he said.

The state has been housing 66 companies of CRPF. Recently, another CRPF battalion was shifted from Tripura to Tamar under Ranchi district. At today’s meeting, the CRPF special DG, it is understood, also took up the issue of accommodation of these personnel likely to be stationed in the state for over a year.

Apart from the planned armed response, the state is also co-ordinating efforts in other areas, namely development and social policing. A Ranchi police team today left for remote Lapung, a Naxalite-hit area, with hundreds of printed, anti-rebel posters to be pasted along Bero-Lapung road and interior villages.

Tomorrow, deputy chief minister Sudesh Kumar Mahto will be in New Delhi to meet Union surface transport minister to speed up pending road projects in Naxalite pockets

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