DGP Rajiv Kumar
Ranchi, Aug. 7: State director-general of police Rajiv Kumar made it clear today that there would be no let-up in anti-Naxalite operations in Jharkhand, the assertion coming in the backdrop of Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde voicing apprehensions about the fate of offensives under the new JMM-led government.
Kumar, who held a review meeting at Piparwar in Chatra district in the wake of rising Naxalite violence, directed the police force to adopt a “hot pursuit” policy towards Naxalites.
“Operations against rebels will be more intense in the coming days. Naxalite activities have come down in the state. But yes, the killing of Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar and five policemen in a Maoist ambush in Kathikund was a big blow,” the DGP told The Telegraph.
Shinde, who had written to Hemant Soren last month congratulating him on becoming chief minister, expressed “serious concerns about LWE (Left-Wing Extremism) in the state in the wake of incidents in Chhattisgarh and Bihar”.
The home minister is learnt to have voiced fears that anti-Naxalite operations, which had been the most extensive under President’s Rule, could be affected now.
He pointed out that district police heads seldom led operations in remote areas, thereby adversely effecting the morale of the security forces and urged Soren to help.
“Claims that district police heads do not take part in offensives might be partially true, but this is widely followed in keeping with the standard procedure. I am personally heading operations,” Kumar said.
The Centre’s fears are not unfounded given the JMM’s soft stance towards Naxalites. Both Hemant and his father, former chief minister Shibu Soren, are known to be against anti-Maoist operations, arguing that innocent tribals were left to face a backlash.
But Shinde’s letter seems to have served as a wake-up call for the state police.
“The operations will continue. At this juncture only, as many as seven anti-Naxalite operations are going on across the state,” a senior police officer told The Telegraph.
Currently, 22 CRPF and two SSB companies have been stationed in Naxalite strongholds of Jharkhand.
The Centre has promised Rs 80 crore to Jharkhand police in the next five years to reorganise Jharkhand Jaguar on the lines of Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh with specific focus on anti-Naxalite training.
So far, Rs 16.20 crore has been released as the first instalment with a training centre coming up at Sukurhutu on the outskirts of Ranchi.