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Police meet at Red fort

Patna, Dec. 15: Rohtas police today held its monthly crime review meeting at Shergarh fort, once a Maoist stronghold, to devise strategies to combat the Naxalites in the district.

The meet, attended by four deputy superintendents of police, inspectors and station house officers of 38 police stations, assumes significance as the Maoists hosted secret meetings for their comrades and impart training to new recruits at the fort.

Villages like Auraiya, Kusuma, Bhurkhura and Ughani were also in their grip. The strategically located fort, around 80km south of Sasaram, the Rohtas district headquarters, and around 255km southeast of Patna, had been the hub of several extremist groups.

Rohtas superintendent of police (SP) Manu Maharaj told The Telegraph over phone: “A detailed strategy was chalked out to sanitise the entire 80-km stretch from Sasaram to Shergarh fort, which is underground. There is a 12-foot-wide tunnel to reach the fort. Police officers were directed to henceforth hold monthly crime meetings at the fort to send a message to the masses that security forces now have access to the hills.

Some officers termed the meeting a routine affair, while others viewed it as an attempt to deliver a strong message to the Maoists. Tents and makeshift houses were erected at the fort for the meet and moulded chairs brought from the Chenari police station.

Reminding officers of their responsibility towards society, the SP said: “Concentrate on your duty to curb crime and maintain law and order. No innocent person should be harassed. Behave properly with visitors at police stations and try to solve their problems. But be tough against those who try to take law in their hands.”