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Cops too use rumoursto confuse Naxals

Posted by Admin on October 16, 2009

GADCHIROLI: Normally cops warn citizens against rumour-mongering or believing in rumours, but in Gadchiroli where they are constantly involved in
a cat-and-mouse game with Naxals, rumour is a potent weapon for both sides. In the psychological battle, cops seem quite ready to use rumours to their advantage.

After losing 17 men at Laheri just a week ahead of polls, cops were puzzled when several scribes started calling them up for information on the encounter of Nargoonda which actually did not take place. The cops were further rattled by the fact that vernacular media even published the information claiming cops had lost another nine men in the encounter.

"It is an old Naxal ploy to try to confuse the cops by spreading rumours about violence and encounters. They do it generally through a section of their sympathizers. On umpteenth occasions, the Naxals have also trapped cops by sending false information," said a police source. He said now even intelligence networks and police do the same to keep the rebels off-balance.

Recently cops used a section of the media to put out that a senior cadre of the Naxals and 15-17 guerrillas had also died at Laheri encounter. Media remained busy trying to unearth the truth and the speculation of either top cadre Narmada or Tarakka having been killed were rife. While a cop claimed Tarakka had died in the Laheri shootout, a source at Bhamragarh claimed that she was spotted along with Narmada a couple of days before. The fate of the two most senior women leaders is still shrouded in mystery.

"We have found lots of blood trails where the Naxals were fighting from," said a senior cop claiming that toll on the naxal camp at Laheri camp too must be high though not a single body of slain Naxal was recovered.

"When a small party walks into an ambush by large number of equally equipped and capable rebels, it is a situation where five or six Naxals must have been firing at a single cop. This shows how lopsided the duel was. The cops fought valiantly and held the Naxals at bay but they must have suffered some casualties but not many," said a cop who is well-acquainted with the ground realities of Gadchiroli. TOI

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