Monday, September 18, 2006

Fear of rocket attacks by naxals haunts police

Fear of rocket attacks by naxals haunts police

G. Narasimha Rao

Immediate worry of police is the protection of their stations

# Huge quantity of rocket launchers suspected to have reached the banned naxalite outfit
# Safety measures may not be effective now

VISAKHAPATNAM: With the CPI (Maoist) having made attempts in the paston a couple of police stations in the Agency area of the district with rocket launchers, an act which now can be construed as test-firing in the light of seizure of a huge quantity of rocket launchers, the immediate worry of the police is how to protect their stations.

Two advantages

The recent seizure might be a huge one but more than this quantity had already reached the banned naxalite outfit, especially the Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee, which has considerable influence in the Agency area of the district and also neighbouring Orissa.

A successful attack on a police station will provide two advantages to the Maoist party: it will boost the morale of the cadre and create panic among the police. AOBSZC military commission's head Chalapathi is reportedly in the AOB area and is planning attacks, it is suspected.

Safety precautions taken in the past, like putting up a fence around the police station building, installing alarms, watch towers, etc, at a considerable cost may not be effective now. Discussions among top police officials in the past and also after the seizure of rocket launchers failed to find a solution.

One suggestion was to have a thick iron mesh over the police station building to block the rockets. It is a very expensive proposition and moreover there is a possibility of the rocket piercing the mesh or getting stuck in it and exploding.

Another suggestion was to plant landmines at some distance from the police station. The party's resolve not to allow the "enemy" (police) to have any bases in the area it has declared a guerrilla zone is clear from documents seized in the past.

The party enjoys almost absolute control over this area and G.K. Veedhi and Koyyuru mandals are considered a guerrilla zone. Police stations at four places -- G.K. Veedhi, A. Annavaram, Sileru and Koyyuru - are particularly vulnerable. Among them Koyyuru and Sileru had already been attacked.


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