C’garh Police eyes breakthroughs in anti-naxal drive in 2016
Raipur : The recent successes in anti-naxal operations have bolstered the security forces’ hopes of making deep forays into Maoist strongholds in Chhattisgarh this year.
Sources in the security forces dealing with Left Wing Extremism (LWE) said 2016 will be “very crucial” for the counter-insurgency operations in the state which has been fighting the Maoist menace over past three decades.
“Police have succeeded in putting a tab on the inter- state movement of the naxals through Sukma which lies on the the tri-junction of Odisa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, carrying out joint operations in coordination with police of the neighbouring states in south Bastar.
“Now, hopefully we will be able to seal this getaway route forcing them to engage with security forces,” a senior police official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Security forces are now planning to carry out continuous operations in the core region of Naxals “by laying siege” to Sukma and Bijapur districts, he added.
The official said as many as 46 naxals were gunned in 187 encounters with security forces in the state last year.
“The yearly figure of naxal causalities has always been under 40 since 2011. It was 36 in 2014. Similarly, the figure of naxal surrender and arresting was also significant in 2015 as 325 naxals gave up arms while 645 were nabbed by police in the state,” he said.
But at the same time security forces lost 44 men, including three CRPF jawans, in the face offs with naxals. However, police’s morale is high with the success achieved in the past 2-3 months in Bastar during which at least 25 rebels, including senior and commander ranks cadres, were eliminated.
The maximum losses to the security forces was reported in April this year when 7 Special Task Force (STF) personnel in Sukma and 5 policemen in Dantewada were killed, he said.
In the last half of the year, police had an upper hand in the fight against ultras and were successful in breaking their hold in the interiors of Sukma, Bijapur and Narayanpur.
Another major achievement for the police in 2015 was the recovery of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and weapons as 229 explosives of various nature were detected. Over 150 firearms were also seized from forests of Bastar during anti-naxal operations, the official added.