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AP success a morale-booster

Ranchi, April 17: As Jharkhand awaits three more CRPF battalions to add more teeth to its anti-Naxalite offensive, police top brass here are unabashed in their praise for the Greyhounds that managed to wipe out as many as nine senior rebels in a successful operation on the Chhattisgarh-Andhra border.

“It will have a demoralising effect on Naxalites. Our preparations would be more foolproof. We are going to concentrate more forces on areas where Naxalite activities are increasing,” Jharkhand DGP Rajeev Kumar told The Telegraph.

Additional director general of police (law and order) D.K. Pandey also opined that the Chhattisgarh-Andhra border success by the elite commandos would go a long way in boosting the morale of the security forces. “Let us hope for the best. In the last 12 years, our state has suffered a lot,” he said.

The present strength of para-military forces in the state is 21 battalions which includes 17 battalions of CRPF, two battalions of special striking force Cobra and two battalions of Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB).

SSB battalions arrived recently and were now on a training-cum orientation exercise at Jharkhand Jungle Warfare Training School in Netarhat in Latehar district and at Police Training Centre at Padma in Hazaribagh district.

Kumar, who visited both training centres today, said three more CRPF battalions would be reaching the state in the near future, taking the number of para-military forces battalions to 24.

These new CRPF battalions were likely to be stationed at Lohardaga and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts, sources maintained.

Given that Jharkhand was now under President’s Rule, senior officers feel this was an opportune moment for the police to take on Maoists and other splinter groups like the PLFI, TPC and Pahari Chita, who have been fairly active in the region.

Today, rebels owing allegiance to the Pahari Chita group killed four persons in Sundargarh district of Odisha, which shares a border with Jharkhand’s Simdega district.

Maoists operating in the Chatra-Gaya border region also received a major blow in March last week when at least 10 rebels were killed during an encounter with TPC.

Soon after, Maoists called a 48-hour bandh on April 6-7 alleging police connivance in the killings.