Sunday, May 4, 2008

Girls’ hostels under scanner of Jharkhand police

Ranchi, May 4 (IANS) Girls’ hostels in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi are emerging as potential security threats as these can be a sanctuary for female Maoist rebels, an official said. According to a senior police official, the hostels are turning to be safe place for women Maoist guerrillas. “We have information that some of the girls coming from remote areas of the state to study in Ranchi act as carriers of Maoist documents and explosives,” a police official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

He said: “Normally the college girls are not checked. Some of the girls may be hardcore Maoist rebels and some may be abiding the Maoist rebels directives. These girls carry documents which are passed on.”

The official said some of the girls who come from areas like Chatra, Palamau, Latehar, Giridih and other Maoist-infested districts are given a bag by the rebels to deliver to someone in Ranchi. The girls hand over the bags to the person as suggested by the Maoists.

“We do not intend to suspect each and every girl. Even some (of) the girls who deliver the bags do not know about the materials. We will direct the hostel owners to introduce identity system so that the girl’s name, address and other relevant information is available,” the official said.

In the past, the police have arrested five Maoist rebels from Ranchi. The state intelligence department concedes that Ranchi is gradually turning into a hub of activities for Maoist guerrillas.

Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state. Since Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, 614 civilians and 290 security personnel have been killed in the state in Maoist violence.

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