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Extra men & practice to fight rebels

The Jamui administration, in a letter to the police headquarters, has sought deployment of 12 additional companies of paramilitary forces, apprehending Maoist attacks.

Rising incidents of rebel attacks, particularly in inaccessible pockets of Jamui, which shares border with Jharkhand’s Maoist-affected Giridih district, has put the administration in a spot of bother. The recent killing of deputy commandant Harikant Jha of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)’s 7th battalion in an ambush on July 4 has already triggered panic among officers here.

According to sources, Jamui district magistrate Sashikant Tiwary and superintendent of police (SP) Upendra Prasad Singh have requested for additional deployment of paramilitary forces. At present, the district has two battalions of CRPF and one battalion of CoBRA personnel.

A senior official said after the ambush on July 4, the administrations was leaving nothing to chance.

A senior officer said: “The demand for more forces was given to conduct anti-Naxalite operations in inaccessible parts of the districts and border areas. Places like Khaira, Charkapathar, Chakai and Jhajha are topographically inaccessible and have been since long used by rebels as safe corridors. We need more strength to crack down on Maoists.”

Sources said the rebels, too, have begun preparations for more attacks. Ravi Yadav, a member of the special platoon of rebels who was arrested, confessed that the outfits have already started operations in Jamui and its adjoining areas.

According to his confession, the north Jharkhand and eastern Bihar special frontal zonal committee of CPI(Maoist) has decided to establish two new platoons. The first platoon would look after Bhimbandh forest cover areas, while the second would take charge of Lakshmipur area. A special guerrilla squad would be launched in Bhagalpur’s Sultanganj.

Sources said Ravi also disclosed names of leaders under whom the two new platoons would start operations. The zonal committee has given instructions to bring in more than 30 suicide squad members in each platoon.

Bacchu Singh Meena, the inspector-general of police, Bhagalpur range, however, denied the reports of high-scale operations in Jamui. “Writing letters to higher authorities or demanding additional forces is very common and part of our daily routine,” he said.

Meena did not divulge information regarding strategy but said the cops were competent to counter the Maoists.