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People’s support stumbling block to anti-Naxal operations, says SSP

Posted by Admin on October 10, 2009

Policemen stop A rally of the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities at Lalgarh on August 26

Policemen stop A rally of the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities at Lalgarh on August 26

RANCHI: People’s support to the Maoists in the Bundu and Tamar areas of Ranchi district was emerging as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to anti-Naxalite operations. “Whether it is out of fear or otherwise, the support of villagers that the sub-zonal commander, Kundan Pahan, enjoys in the area, has made him almost invincible,” said Praveen Kumar, Ranchi senior superintendent of police.

As a result, Pahan’s intelligence network, comprising villagers, had become quite strong. “Whenever police are about to conduct raids in the area, Pahan invariably gets wind of it,” said the SSP.

“We were close to the squad two days ago and an encounter took place in which two of their members were shot. But the bodies were taken away by the other members of the group,” said Kumar.

Pahan is the prime suspect in the heinous murder of Special Branch inspector Francis Indwar and police have launched a massive hunt for him. A Bundu resident said villagers support the Maoists usually out of fear. Also, most of them are part of the oufit that either cooks for them or carry their rucksacks, for which they are also paid by the rebels. Not surprising then that their allegiance tends to tilt more towards the Naxalites than police.

Meanwhile, director-general of police V D Ram has asked the police officers to act tough and ordered disbanding of Platoon-39 of Pahan. Ram visited the site near Raisa Bridge under Namkum police station on Wednesday where the dismembered body of the slain officer was found the day before.

Ram later chaired a high-level meeting with DIG R K Mullick, SSP Praveen Kumar, Rural SP Hemant Toppo and other police officers engaged in anti-Maoist operations in the area.

According to police sources, it is being suspected that the Pahan-led Platoon-39 of the CPI(Maoist) was responsible for the abduction-cum-killing of Indwar. Sources confirmed that Platoon-39, comprising around 35-40 members and specializing in guerrilla warfare, was responsible for nearly 70 killings in the past two years, including that of former minister Ramesh Singh Munda, DSP Pramod Kumar and four others in a landmine blast under Bundu and Tamar police stations.

Kumar said as per the DGP’s directive, police have launched anti-Maoist operations under Kuchai and Darbhanga police stations of Seraikela district, Arki, Khunti and Murhu police stations of Khunti district and Bundu, Tamar, Angara, Rahe and Sonahatu police stations of Ranchi district.

Sources said the DGP has assured of all possible help and also called for strengthening of human and technical intelligence in the area to counter the Maoist surge in the entire belt, spread over border areas of the three districts. TOI

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