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Maoist leaders on radar of C’garh cops

Maoist leaders on radar of C’garh cops
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Encouraged by their recent success against Maoists, security forces in Chhattisgarh are focusing on targeting the senior rung of the ultras in South Bastar, the strongest base of the outlawed Maoists in the country.

Raipur: Encouraged by their recent success against Maoists, security forces in Chhattisgarh are focusing on targeting the senior rung of the ultras in South Bastar, the strongest base of the outlawed Maoists in the country.

Atleast 10 rebels, including five self-styled "commanders", were gunned down in the past 17 days in Sukma and Bijapur districts where paramilitary forces along with the state police are engaged in intense anti-Maoist operations since early this month.

"On the direction of Ministry of Home Affairs, the state authority has been focusing on uprooting Naxals from a major portion of Sukma and Bijapur, which is very important from a strategical point of view," a senior police official involved in anti-Naxal operations said.

The forests of Sukma and neighbouring Bijapur, located around 450 kms from Raipur in the state's extreme south, not only help rebels in movement across AP, Odisha and Maharashtra through Chhattisgarh, but are also ideal for guerrilla warfare training due to dense tree cover, he said.

The region is also considered an ideological base of Maoists and Sukma and Bijapur are among the highly militarised districts in the country.While as many as 11 battalions (nearly 1,000 personnel each) of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), including its elite CoBRA wing, have been deployed in Sukma, eight battalions of paramilitary forces are stationed in Bijapur, he said.

Nearly 13,000 and 10,000 security personnel (including of state force) are engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Sukma and Bijapur, respectively, the official said. "The recent operations have considerably weakened the morale of the cadres in their base area and the security forces do not want them to re-group. Therefore the strategy is to target the prominent and senior leaders, rather than going after the foot soldiers," he said.

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