K Vijay Kumar
Paramilitary personnel deployed in Jharkhand are eager to consolidate their new-found edge over the rebels, with CRPF and CISF bosses on Tuesday visiting the state to discuss strategies following the killing of four Maoists in Chatra on Sunday.
CRPF director-general K. Vijay Kumar and his Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) counterpart Rajiv Kumar arrived in Ranchi in the morning and left for the Central Coalfields Limited project site at Piparwar, where the rebels were killed in an encounter.
“The CRPF and CISF DGs visited Piparwar. K. Vijay Kumar also held a meeting with superintendents of police and commandants of Latehar, Garhwa, Palamau and Chatra districts in the Latehar district headquarters. He will spend the night there and is expected to visit CRPF and state police camps at Saryu and Kone areas of Latehar,” said a top police officer requesting anonymity.
The two DGs were accompanied by CRPF inspector-general (operations) D.K. Pandey. Sources said that following the Piparwar incident, state police and central paramilitary forces wanted to gain “operational advantage”.
When contacted, CRPF deputy inspector-general Bhanu Pratap Singh said, “The duo’s visit is meant to project oneness between the various police and paramilitary establishments in their joint fight against Naxalites. This will also boost the morale of the varied forces.”
That the rebels fell to CISF personnel has come as a pat on the back of the paramilitary force that is primarily meant to provide security in industrial establishments, and not necessarily tackle Naxalites.
“Industrial establishments and construction projects have always been targets for Maoists, who want a pie of the project costs as levy,” Singh added.
At Piparwar, 40km from Ranchi, a group of 150 armed rebels had attacked the CCL’s Ashoka project site late at night.
They also managed to torch around 19 vehicles, most of which were engaged in despatch and transportation of coal.
More than a day after the incident, normalcy is limping back as far as coal production is concerned. The Ashoka project has a production capacity of 30,000 metric tonne (MT) daily.
CCL’s Piparwar area chief general manager Mainak Dutta told The Telegraph, “Contractual production has already begun. More security personnel have been deployed in the production site and adjoining establishments. However, the workers are reluctant to work during at night. We are tying to convince them.”
He added that work resumed today, but did not disclose the extent of production.
The CRPF DG will also hold a meeting with the state police brass tomorrow in Ranchi before returning to Delhi.