Thursday, July 06, 2006

Chhattisgarh to coordinate with neighbours on Maoist menace

Raipur, July 6 (IANS) Chhattisgarh will set up three centres to coordinate intelligence inputs on Maoists with Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand aimed at tackling the Left wing extremists, an official said Thursday.

The Chhattisgarh government's decision follows the central government agreeing to provide Rs.64.2 million for setting up three coordination centres.

The centres will come up at Jagdalpur, headquarters of the Bastar region bordering Andhra Pradesh; Ambikapur, district headquarters of Surguja district on the border with Jharkhand; and Raipur, the Chhattisgarh state capital.

"These centres will help Chhattisgarh curb the spiralling Maoist violence by maintaining close touch with the two other Maoist-infested border states on the rebels' movement and their terror attacks," Director General of Police O.P. Rathor was quoted as saying in an official release Thursday.

The coordination centres will have over 30 lodging rooms for police officials besides a conference hall.

"The basic objective of the centres is to keep vigil on Maoist influx in Chhattisgarh's border areas, sharing intelligence inputs and to launch timely offensive against the rebels to dismantle their terror network," a senior home department official said.

"Chhattisgarh can contain 50 percent of the Maoist attacks if coordination among police forces of Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand is established," the official said.

The state has witnessed a spurt in Maoist attacks during the past year. According to police, rebels from Andhra Pradesh generally sneak into the bordering district of Dantewada, which is considered a rebel hotbed. After carrying out fatal attacks on police personnel or civilians they make a safe return to hideouts in Andhra.

Maoists, who claim they are fighting for the rights of landless workers and poor peasants, have killed at least 180 civilians this year in Chhattisgarh, the worst hit among the 13 Maoist-infected states in the country.

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