Jamshedpur, July 11: Police might have to learn the language of tribal tom-toms if they want to undertake successful anti-Naxalite operation.
At least that is the lesson they learnt today, while making their way through dense jungles in Arki, expecting rebel bullets to whiz past them. Instead, they were surprised to hear drumbeats.
The beats were not a welcome for the police party approaching Barigarah village, 75km from here, around 3am. It was a signal from the women in the village to their men folk asking them rush to the forests to escape the jawans, the law-enforcers said.
The police party was trying to catch the villagers, “most of who are Naxalites”, unawares and interrogate them over the assassination of JD(U) MLA Ramesh Singh.
Barigarah is the native place of dreaded rebel Kundan Pahan who, the police claim, was involved in Munda’s assassination.
Deputy inspector-general (DIG) of police, Ranchi, Nagendra Prasad Singh said a police team was about to enter Barigarah on Friday when they heard the drumbeats. When the police entered the village, they found that the men had disappeared. Only then did the police realise how a trick found in Phantom comics was used to fool them.
“The women resorted to striking drums to warn the men, most of who are Naxalites, that the police were coming,” said Singh.
The men supposedly fled by crossing the Karkari passing near the village and hid in the dense jungles, where they stay till it was safe to come out.
The police confiscated the drums but the women would not open their mouths.
The operation has caught the police by surprise and even demoralised some of them. They were prepared to electronically jam cellphone signals but did not anticipate drumbeats.
The DIG said they were ready to jam signals over a 10km radius. “We were aware that cellphones were playing a crucial role in keeping rebels out of the path of the police. We had thought of jamming Arki police station area. But the drumbeats by the women folk seem to be more result oriented,” said DIG Singh.
The police have decided to intensify night patrolling on the National Highway and on the roads leading to Naxalite belts of Arki and Tamar.