CRPF units may be deployed for combing forests
The State government is looking at fresh options, including deploying the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), for combing operations in the forest areas of north Kerala in the wake of the frequent sighting of suspected cadres of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the region.
Top sources told The Hindu here on Wednesday that the search operations of the Thunderbolt commando force of the Indian Reserve Battalion had yielded no positive results in Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Palakkad districts.
Recently a 40-member team had carried out raids following reports about the presence of uniformed Maoists at the Naripetta and Vilangad regions in Kozhikode district bordering Wayanad and Kannur districts.
Less than a fortnight ago, an earth mover was torched allegedly by Maoists at Chooranimala in Kavilumpara panchayat in the limits of the Thottipalam police station. This was one of the incidents relating to a crime activity in the district, a senior officer said.
Already the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had alerted the State police about the formation of the new Kabani Dalam (armed squad) of Janakeeya Vimochana Guerilla Sena at the tri-junction of the Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu borders. Several other Dalams, including the Netravathi, are active in the Dakshina Kannada side as well as in Tamil Nadu.
As early as 2011, the tri-junction had shown signs of secret movement after the operations of ‘Green Hunt’ by the CRPF against Naxalites and developed into a perspective area (Maoist terminology for identifying a particular region, surveying the area and building up its organisational base) for the CPI (Maoist).
Intelligence agencies say that the organisation could have now formed the guerrilla squad in Wayanad after infiltrating the local populace and subsequently conducting training camps in the forests. These activities are part of new guerrilla zone in Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee in the tri-junction.
So far, the government has incurred an expense of Rs 11.5 crore on purchasing vehicles and equipment for the Thunderbolt commando for curbing the activities of Maoists in the State.
Sources said the distribution of the news bulletin of ‘Kattuthee’ (forest fire) among houses in Wayanad and Kozhikode districts recently announcing agitations against the imperialistic and anti-people government signalled that the CPI (Maoist) had arrived in the State.
The bulletin warns against evicting Adivasis in the name of protecting forests and preserving tiger sanctuaries and against exploiting tribal people by police and forest officials. The banned Left radical outfit has demanded that the government stop all revenue recovery proceedings against the debt-ridden farmers.
The CPI (Maoist) has also planned to set up people’s court for trial of elected representatives, including legislators, for failure to prevent suicide by farmers. It has also threatened to punish the perpetrators of crime against Dalit women and eliminate the practice of moneylenders charging usurious rate of interest and private financial establishments, the sources said.