Wednesday, September 09, 2009

'Curb Maoist Menace' mission gathers steam

Gyan Varma / DNAWednesday, September 9, 2009 2:27 IST Email

New Delhi: The BSF will use the experience and expertise of people who worked in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab to gather information on Maoists in Chhattisgarh. This is being done before the BSF launches a massive crackdown on extremists later this year.

The intelligence-gathering operation will be concentrated in the jungles of Abhuj Maad, where the Maoist headquarter is, sources said. The BSF has built a core team of 15 intelligence operatives to run the show. The Centre is also sending 25,000 personnel to surround the 7,000 sq km area in Abhuj Maad. Five field units of 10-12 members each are also being dispatched to help the core team.

"We have seasoned experts who were active in Punjab and J&K, which is why they have been called in to form a strategy. We have a proven track record of collecting intelligence, so we'll be able to give results. This is a new area of operation and the terrain and culture is completely different. It'll take some time before results start showing," a senior BSF officer said.

Senior home ministry officials said the first priority of these units would be to create "human assets" or a network of local informers and give them protection. "We can't produce results immediately. It is a time-taking exercise but we'll succeed," he said.

The additional forces will be posted in the tri-junction of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, being used by the Maoists to plan, consolidate and move between states. At present, there are 35,000 security men in Maoist-dominated states spread over 39,000 sq km.

Apart from the CRPF, the Centre has roped in BSF and ITBP to secure the area. The border force has been asked for 5,000 personnel and the ITBP 2,000.

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