Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Lalgarh Maoists now camping in Ayodhya jungles

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri / DNAWednesday, July 8, 2009 2:14 IST Email

Kolkata: The forces got Lalgarh but not the Maoists, who have fled to the jungles of Ayodhya hills in Purulia via Belpahari thanks to lax patrolling on the West Midnapore-Purulia border. The multi-phased Operation Lalgarh happened at lightning speed, but the forces did not seal the area properly to stop the Maoists from fleeing. The rebels have now set up bunkers in the dense jungles of Ayodhya hills and taken shelter there. As an interim measure, some sections of the combined forces have been diverted to Purulia. Along with some battalions of the district police, the forces are trying to sanitise the entire 360-km area on the Purulia-Jharkhand border.

Confirming Maoists' escape to Purulia, the district SP R Yadav said all the police and para-military camps in Purulia have been alerted for a full-fledged operation. The state Intelligence Branch got wind of the secret bunker on Ayodhya hills after interrogating four mid-level Maoist leaders arrested from Balrampur on Saturday night. The exact location of the bunker is yet to be identified. "We also do not have specific information about exactly how Maoist action-squad members have taken shelter and the arms, ammunition and explosives in their possession," a senior IB official said.

He also said that probably because of this quick escape, not a single top Maoist leader could be arrested during Operation Lalgarh, which was otherwise successful. IB sleuths suspect that after escaping from Lalgarh via Belpahari, the Maoists entered Purulia through Gurapana forest area and reached Ayodhya hills, where they set up the bunker.

State DGP Bhupinder Singh recently had a meeting with BSF D-G SS Gill at Purulia, where the blueprint for identifying the bunker and arresting the Maoists was finalised.
Realising that lapses in patrolling the West Midnapore-Purulia border was the reason behind easy exit of Maoists to Ayodhya, the forces have decided to totally seal the Jharkhand-Purulia border before full-fledged sanitising operations at Ayodhya hills and other parts of Purulia begin.

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