A villager quenches her thirst from a narrow stream at Burudih. File picture
Jamshedpur, April 25: To smoke out rebels from Dangra Pahar, police and paramilitary forces have decided to cut off their supply of drinking water and guard every spring in the vicinity.
The area in Ghurabandha block of Ghatshila sub-division is considered a stronghold of the Kanhu Munda squad.
With day temperatures soaring way above normal, security forces know that the rebels will find it tough to survive without water. With three of the 11 springs in the area already dry, the security forces have decided to guard the remaining water sources and also step up patrolling on the foothills to apprehend the rebels in their own den.
Dangra Pahar is a difficult terrain and the rebels have made their base on top of the hills to help them spot approaching security personnel easily. When they see the forces, the rebels mingle with local villagers, making it impossible to tell them apart. And the police or paramilitary forces end up recovering food packets and the like from the hideouts.
While carrying out raids in the past, the police discovered as many as 11 springs in the area which connects Orissa’s Gorumahisani police station area with Jharkhand.
With the springs running dry, both villagers and rebels alike are facing a water crisis. After surveying the area and taking feedback from anti-rebel outfit Nagrik Suraksha Samity (NSS), the security forces are chalking out plans to guard the existing springs so that the rebels are forced to abandon their hiding places in search of water.
Of the 17 members in the Kanhu Munda squad, three are teenaged boys and as many young women.
According to sources, the boys are so young that they rarely attract the attention of the police. Similarly, the women pass off as villagers as they collect food and water from the foothills of Dangra Pahar. But once the springs, the only sources of drinking water on Dangra Pahar, are secured, the move is bound to yield results.
A senior police officer revealed that when the Naxalites kept Dalbhumgarh BDO Prashant Layek hostage at Dangra Pahar, they had succeeded in making the rebels’ position extremely miserable by cutting off supply of food and other essentials.
“This time we will follow the same strategy in Dangra Pahar, but by means of cutting off the springs,” said an official on condition of anonymity. SSP Naveen Kumar Singh, when asked, said several plans, including securing water bodies on Dangra Pahar were being worked upon in order to apprehend the squad.
nBandh hits trains, page 17