Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Naxals change style, so do cops

NAGPUR: Naxals beware! The cops are now 'united' in their bid to tackle the menace. The unconventional operation training centre (UOTC) and Special Action group (SAG) unit, both of which have been separately working towards tackling the naxals, will soon be merged to form a new and forceful unit in the state. The two bodies, based in the headquarter of state reserve police force in Hinga, have already begun joint operations. In a significant decision undertaken recently, the state government and top authorities of the police have decided to merge the two bodies and the single unit would be instrumental in both imparting training and undertaking armed operations in the naxal-infested areas. The new unit will work as part of the Anti-Naxal Operation Cell (ANO) based in Nagpur. The state director general of police, Anami Roy had also inspected a plot of 110 acres at Suraburdi near SRPF camp in Hingna recently where the proposed unit would be set up. Apart from the merger, sources commented that significant changes would be made in the style and content of the training syllabus which is set to be modified. The training set to be imparted at the proposed institution would be modelled on the experiences of the combat unit during naxal operations, said a highly placed source. "Modifications in the training are also being introduced after taking account recent intelligence reports and developments in other states," said the source. ANO sources claimed that earlier Maoists would launch attacks in groups of 15-20 but now they now move in a large numbers, sometimes going up to even 350 in a single operation. From guerrilla warfare, the naxals have now adopted 'mobile warfare'. "The maoists have always been keen to change their tactical counter offensive campaigns (TCOC) and so there arises a need to keep pace with that change and modify our plan of training and strategy too," said a senior officer. "Apart from the armed combats, the Maoists have also been changing their techniques in the usage of different types of explosives." One company of the Indian Reserve Battalion would be also raised and maintained in Gondia. Apart from the plot at Suraburdi, state DGP Roy also inspected areas in Gondia for a second IRB company after Aurangabad.

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