The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Forest combing starts
- Special force created for saranda

Jamshedpur, Dec. 19: The state police today launched a special combing operation in the Saranda forests of neighbouring West Singhbhum district.

The operation led by the deputy inspector general of police, Kolhan-Singhbhum, Ram Chander Ram, comprises 10 companies of CRPF, Special Task Force and district police.

Ram is being assisted by the West Singhbhum district police chief, Naveen Kumar Singh.

Over the years the Saranda forest has become one of the most popular hideout for the rebels where they take refuge after committing crimes in different parts of the state and in the neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

Although, senior police officials are tightlipped about the five-day combing operation, insiders claim that the police jawans have split into different groups and have entered the forest from Kiriburu and Monoharpur regions of the district.

'For the next few days, the police would scan for the hideouts of the rebels. We have some specific leads about their hideouts in Saranda. Moreover, the police shall visit some of the villages inside the forest and interact with the villagers. Police believe they can provide the police with some vital clues, ' police sources said.

According to officers, the borders of districts such as Seraikela-Kharsawan and Ranchi that share a common border with West Singhbhum have been sealed and the police of these districts have been directed to be on high alert.

'The police officials leading the operation have been instructed to move mainly on foot within the forest area. The police have been told to move cautiously within the forest as there is the threat from landmines,' police sources informed.

About two years back, the state police had conducted a similar operation in that forest.

'Saranda has become a very important hub for the rebels. We have information that some of the rebels that took part in the Jenehabad incident in Bihar have taken shelter in Saranda after that incident,' a senior police official informed.

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