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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Jungle warriors to fight red terror

June 9: Forests in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are set to witness Hollywood-style action with deployment of Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs), crack commando units specially trained for jungle warfare.

A dozen such units are being deployed in the two states for the first time.

They will be air dropped in dense forests and will be equipped with carbines, grenades, jungle knives and a week’s ration. They have been trained at the Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorist Training Centre in Silchar.

“Members of these teams have been handpicked from the CRPF for their toughness, agility and quick response,” said a home ministry official.

“Like Grey Hounds of Andhra Pradesh, their brief would be to launch swift guerrilla operation against Maoists. These teams would be able to go cracking in a matter of minutes on getting information about a Maoist attack or movement.”

For swift movement of QRTs, the Centre has allowed Chhattisgarh to hire a helicopter. Similar offer is likely to be made to Jharkhand soon.

The QRTs will work in close co-ordination with the modern control centre coming up at Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh.

Four bomb detection and disposal squads (BDDS) — three in Chhattisgarh and one in Jharkhand — are also being deployed.

“Mines have caused maximum damage to our security forces. Four more BDDS will be placed in the two states by the end of September. For bigger troop movement, six more mine-proof vehicles are being given to the two states,” said officials.

The two states will also get six UHF jamming devices to check remote-controlled and mobile phone-operated blasts.

“Though no such blasts have taken place in the two states, UHF jamming devices are being given as intelligence reports suggest that the Maoists are moving from wire-controlled blasts to remote-controlled and mobile-operated blasts,” said an officer.

Police in Jamshedpur, meanwhile, admitted that the Maoists have been trying to encircle the steel city.

The Maoists, who shot and assaulted a group of JMM supporters late on Thursday night at Patamda, on the outskirts of the city, had come from across the border in Bengal. They were demanding levy from traders of country liquor.

Police claim to have identified three local “rebels” who helped the outsiders. A manhunt has been launched to nab them and long-range patrols are being conducted in the area.

In Bokaro, superintendent of police Priya Dubey on Saturday displayed the landmines, grenades, detonators, rifle, police uniforms, Maoist literature and flags recovered from a bunker at the foothills of Jhumra hills. The rebels, however, managed to escape the joint combing operation by the police and CRPF.

Though the rebels are on the run, the officer added, the Jhumra range continues to be their stronghold.

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