Centre plans to uproot ‘Lalgarhs’ on AP borders
Posted by Admin on July 27, 2009
VIJAYAWADA: The Centre is planning to flush out Maoists from Agency areas on the borders of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, particularly on either side of the river Godavari.Sources close to the Union Home Ministry told Express that Operation Lalgarh, launched recently in West Bengal to drive away Naxalites, could well be repeated in the border areas of the three Naxal-hit States.More than 23 CRPF battalions are likely to be moved to Chhattisgarh and Orissa soon after the Amarnath Yatra, the sources said.
Of these, about 18 are currently deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to protect Amarnath pilgrims while a few more are attached to the Rashtriya Rifles, a paramilitary force carved out of the Army, for anti-insurgency operations.The Union Home Ministry has already decided to shift the CRPF battalions and is giving final touches to the operational plans, the sources said.Home Minister P Chidambaram, they said, is particularly upset over the complete breakdown of government in large tracts of land, especially in Chhattisgarh and some parts of Orissa on the Andhra Pradesh border.
Hence, the massive flush-out operations, the sources said.As of now, more than four districts in Chhattisgarh are more or less under the control of Maoists. Bijapur, Dantewada, Rajnandgoan and Narayanpur districts are home to a number of Maoists and their sympathisers. It is believed that more than 80 hard core Naxalites, including their chief Muppala Laxamana Rao alias Ganapthi, are taking shelter in Chhattisgarh.If Chidambaram’s plans materialise, the Maoists would be heavily outnumbered. Each CRPF battalion consists of roughly 1,000 men.As it is, there are about 12 battalions in Chhattisgarh and four in Orissa.
The proposed reinforcements in Chhattisgarh and Orissa would be in the ratio of 3:1.The intention, a ministry official said, is to seal the border to prevent the Naxalites from escaping into Andhra Pradesh where they have almost been decimated. The Centre may ask the police in all the three States to draft a strategy to effectively assist the CRPF.Naxalism, the Centre believes, is no longer a socio-economic problem but an internal security threat. That seems to be the lesson from Lalgarh.
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