Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CRPF to take on Maoists

KHAMMAM: THE Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has stepped into the agency area to combat the CPI (Maoist) activities in the border villages of Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh.

As many as 500 CRPF personnel from other districts have been deployed at Mothugudem, Wajedu, Perur, Venkatapuram and Cherla villages to take on the Maoists in the Dandakaranya forest region in the agency area.

The CRPF base camp has been set up in the temple town of Bhadrachalam and a senior officer K K Singh, who is in the rank of Superintendent of Police, has been posted as its commandant.

Speaking to this website's newspaper, Khammam district SP Devender singh Chouhan said the deployment of CRPF personnel had strengthened the district police. ‘‘We will utilise the CRPF in anti-Naxal operations and also to protect the police stations in the border areas,’’ he said.

It may be recalled that the Maoists have been resorting to violence in Bhadrachalam agency area — the major incidents include attack on the Perur police station, blasting of the Kukunur police station, Cherla MRO office and many cell towers besides killing of people after branding them as police informers.

They are also exerting pressure on the Gottikoyas to settle in Bhadrachalam agency area so that they (Maoists) can take shelter in their areas. This is causing concern among the Andhra Pradesh police.

According to official records, there are seven dalams (squads) comprising 50 hardcore Maoists operating in Bhadrachalam agency area. While 30 of them are from Khammam district, the others belong to Warangal and neighbouring Chattishgarh.

In fact, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has identified Khammam as one among the 33 worst-affected Naxal districts in the country.

A senior police official pointed out that Khammam had been highly sensitive compared to other districts in view of the dense forest border it shares with the State of Chhattisgarh. The thick forest cover of the Dandakaranya along Khammam — Dante Wada and Bijapur borders — makes the job of the police a daunting task to track the movements of Maoists.

Keeping this in view, the Khammam district police has requested the State Government to deploy additional forces in sensitive areas in the district to curb the Maoist activities in the border area. The State Government too agreed to the request.

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