Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Security experts brainstorm, study strike power of Maoists

PTI Monday, April 12, 2010 23:15 IST Last updated: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 1:19 IST

New Delhi: Experts in various security and intelligence agencies are reviewing the anti-Maoist offensive with focus on the strike power of the ultras, following reports that they had the wherewithal to counter aerial attacks.

The experts reportedly held a brainstorming session in New Delhi on Monday.

More such sessions are likely to be held in the coming days after the one-man inquiry committee headed by former BSF chief EN Rammohan submits its report in two weeks.

Rao is touring Chhattisgarh for an on-the-spot inspection of the area where Maoists attacked a CRPF company last Tuesday.

Officials in the home ministry, however, said there was no proof to suggest the left-wing insurgents had acquired power to counter air raids.

“At the first instance, the government has no plan to launch air strikes in Naxal-affected areas. But the security review will consider every possible tactic insurgents may adopt,” an official said.

In this connection, he said, there was a move to equip central paramilitary forces (CPMFs) with unmanned aerial vehicles, trials for which would be held this week. It could be followed by the use of satellite imagery to ascertain the positioning and preparedness on ground of Maoists, including techniques to conceal weaponry.

The official, however, clarified that satellites would not be used in the near future. It is a futuristic plan to strengthen training and strike power of CPMFs, he said.

The only terrorist outfit with air strike capability was LTTE, which had developed the infrastructure to take on the Sri Lankan government.

On the Maoists’ truck with LTTE cadres for training and supply of weapons, the official said there was no evidence to suggest such a tie-up.

Admitting that Maoists were acquiring weapons from the open market in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal, he said the other major source for them was snatching and looting arms from police personnel in remote areas.

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