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BackYou are here: NewsIndia Operation Green Hunt Intensifies in Chhattisgarh


Operation Green Hunt Intensifies in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: As the central paramilitary forces launched their ground offensive against the Maoists in two districts bordering Maharashtra, the Chhattisgarh Police are also stepping up their own campaign - Operation Green Hunt - in other areas in order to mount pressure on the rebels in the state.

"The joint operation, involving the paramilitary forces, has almost started in Rajnandgaon and Kanker in North Bastar. It's a slow but sure operation. The objective is to deploy forces in large numbers in smaller areas for longer periods so that development initiatives can be taken up in a fast-phased manner," Director General of Police Vishwaranjan told reporters here on Saturday.

"Once the development task of a particular area is completed, the forces would move to another area and would advance further step by step," he said, adding that the forces would carry out search operations and even surgical operations whenever required.

"While the joint operation progresses, the state police will intensify their own anti-Naxalite drive "Operation Green Hunt" in other Maoist-hit areas and counter the rebels," the DGP said.

The police and civil officials have been carrying out a drive in South Bastar to make the people aware that the security offensive is meant to flush out the rebels and ensure development of their respective areas, he added.

Pointing out that the police had recovered bodies of 107 rebels killed in encounters last year, the DGP claimed that the Naxalites in Dandakaranya region had suffered major casualties during this period.

"The casualties on Maoist side could be about three times more than the number of bodies recovered, as Maoists normally take away the bodies with them. Maoists have admitted this in their literature published from time to time," he said.

Vishwaranjan said 177 active Naxalite cadres and 445 Sangam members - village-level supporters of outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) - were arrested in 2009. A total of 99 securityperson - 54 of state police and 45 of paramilitary forces - had laid down their lives in line of duty fighting the Maoists. Around 112 civilians, 11 government employees and 22 Special Police Officers (SPOs) were also killed in Naxalite violence during last year, the DGP informed.

Referring to activists and NGO groups staging 'Satyagrah' in South Bastar, opposing Operation Green Hunt and levelling allegations against the police, the DGP reiterated that vested interests had been unleashing a disinformation campaign against the security forces for long. "It's a sensitive area. Anything can happen. Maoists can attack the activists to put the blame on the police. We will deploy a few companies of security forces for the security of the activists," he said.

Indian Express, January 3, 2010