Friday, March 19, 2010

Forces plan precision strikes on Maoists in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa

Sumanta Ray Chadhuri / DNA
Thursday, March 18, 2010 23:54 IST

Kolkata: The upcoming phase II of the anti-Maoist ‘Operation Green Hunt’, to be conducted simultaneously in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa, will be an “intelligence input-based” exercise, not an all-out assault.

The decision was taken at a meeting between Bhupinder Singh, director general (DG) of West Bengal Police, and Vijay Raman, special DG, Central Reserve Police Force, in Kolkata on Thursday. Explaining the operation, a state police officer said the combined forces would only attack areas where they get information about Maoists’ presence.

“Unlike ‘Operation Lalgarh’, the forces will not move around in forests hunting for Maoists this time. They will spring to action only if there is specific intelligence about the presence of guerrillas or their camps,” he said.

The officer said the intelligence input-based action had specific advantages compared to a full-fledged assault.

“In such an action, the forces will have a clear idea about the geography of the place to be attacked as well as the strength of guerillas in the action zone. Secondly, jawans will be able to conserve energy by not combing large tracts of jungles frequently and attack with full force when the time comes,” he said.
Another advantage, the officer pointed out, was that it would allow the forces more secrecy.

“During ‘Operation Lalgarh’, electronic media crews virtually marched with the combined forces, alerting Maoists, who only had to watch TV to know where the forces were headed. This problem will now be fixed, since intelligence input-based action would have an element of surprise,” a senior CID officer said.

Such action, he said, had only one disadvantage — it is time-consuming.

“So, our target is to achieve as much success as possible before the monsoon arrives. Summer is ideal for such combing operations, since in that period there is more visibility in forests as trees shed leaves.

In monsoon, forests become dense with new vegetation, obstructing vision,” the CID officer said

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