Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General R.R. Bhatnagar said, in an interview with The Hindu, the force has opened upto 15 security camps in South Bastar, Chhattisgarh to shrink the influence of Maoists in the region.
He said that commander Hidma-led Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee (DKSZC) has been the biggest challenge for them. “The districts under the influence of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) has shrunk by more than 40% in the last three years… We have opened 15 new camps in Chhattisgarh and are getting closer to their [Maoist] core areas,” he said.
Upto 40,000 CRPF forces have been deployed in Chhattisgarh to curb left-wing extremist outfits in the area.
Citing, IEDs as the main threat due to their increased usage by the Maoists, he said, “Last year, 575 IEDs were detected, maximum were in Jharkhand (292), Chattisgarh (159) and Bihar (81). This year, already 230 IEDs have been recovered, mostly from the three States. Last year, there were 29 IED explosions and this year 16 such blasts have taken place.”
He said the usage was due to the enhanced operational capability of the forces.
He said that commonly available materials like urea were being used an ingredients for explosives. “Government is exploring if the detonators (used in mines) can only operate with a code, which can be tracked in case it has landed with the Maoists. It would restrict their use then,” he said. “We are looking at mechanised ways of detecting the IEDs, rather than the handheld detectors because they cannot cover much area.”
He said upto 500 active cadres responsible for providing logistics among other things to Moaists had been apprehended by local police, with the help of CRPF.
“Most of the people who were arrested had warrants against them. These people helped the Maoists by informing them about the movement of security forces, keep a watch on the activity of villagers, spot potential recruits or could be part of the jan militia (in charge of villages),” he said.