Saturday, December 23, 2006

No common plan, anti-Naxal operation hit

No common plan, anti-Naxal operation hit
Subodh Ghildiyal
[ 22 Dec, 2006 0121hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: The presence of different political parties at the helm in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh may be turning out to be a hurdle in anti-Naxal operations with the tri-junction of these states emerging as an area of concern.

Densely forested and unmanageable by normal policing, the free movement of the Naxal cadres across the state borders is neutralising aggressive pursuits by Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh even as Orissa is emerging as the new "red haven".

Government is likely to convene a brainstorming session of the three states as it moves to address the issue. The desire for a joint strategy to check the Naxal menace is defeated by lack of communication among the three states.

The perceived reason for lack of a common strategy is attributed to three different political groups heading these states. Orissa has Biju Janata Dal (BJD) at the helm of affairs while Chhattisgarh is ruled by BJP and Jharkhand by an Independent backed by the UPA.

Coincidentally or otherwise, change of government in Jharkhand has led to a show of strength by the Naxals. Till recently, the three states had a good political rapport as Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand had BJP governments while Orissa had an ally in BJD.

Understanding between states, sources said, was needed for "hot pursuit" in border areas. In inter-state armed activity, aggressive pursuits by a state force comes to naught as Naxalites cross the border into other states, which are outside their jurisdiction.

In Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand-Orissa, officials are reported to be hesitant to transgress their jurisdictional limits in the absence of any understanding between governments. Sources said the meeting is likely to involve chief ministers to hammer out a common strategy.

They added that the densely forested tri-junction could not be sealed with normal policing. Instead, the states would look at toning up the intelligence network along borders. Free movement of Naxalites across the tri-junction is proving to be a nuisance for the cops. Recently, forces nabbed a Maoist group's Chhattisgarh zone head who was originally from Jharkhand. A similar problem exists in Chhattisgarh where Bastar has emerged as a hub of Naxalite movement for its borders with Andhra Pradesh, where PWG has strong roots.


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