Monday, February 08, 2010

On the cards: A helipad in Naxal den

Kanchan Chakraborty Posted online: Tuesday , Feb 09, 2010 at 0248 hrs
Kolkata : To intensify their anti-Maoist operations in the Naxal-affected areas, the state government and the Central forces are planning to set up a helipad at a strategic location for carrying out aerial surveillance in the area. The Central forces also conducted an aerial survey at Bandowan and Balarampur in Purulia — the two worst affected areas — on Sunday.
According to sources, the CRPF has taken the initiative to set up the helipad at Bandowan, which is considered to be a stronghold of the Maoists.

The aerial survey was conducted by Vijay Raman, Additional Director General of CRPF and Aloke Raj, IG, CRPF. According to Raj, they conducted an aerial survey for a few hours along the Bengal-Jharkhand border. The CRPF team also visited Balarampur, where they have been deployed for a long time now.

A day before Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is scheduled to hold a meeting with chief ministers of the Naxal-affected states in Kolkata, the CRPF has already begun its groundwork at Purulia to launch an offensive.

It is expected that the CRPF camp would also be reinforced at Bandowan and Balarampur after Chidambaram’s review meeting. In the past, Maoists have carried out several operations from Bandowan that shares a border with Jharkhand. A senior police officer of Purulia district said the geographical location of Bandowan is very important from the counter-terrorism point of view. It will be easy for the Central and state police forces to maintain vigil on Jharkhand, Belpahari in West Midnapore and Ranibandh area of Bankura from Bandowan.

It will also turn out to be convenient for the forces to carry out operations in the Dalma hills of Jharkhand from Balarampur, said the officer.

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