State police, CRPF asked to deploy forces at strategic locations

Recent reports of Maoists using improvised explosives devices (IEDs) and arms such as hand grenades and rocket propelled grenades, besides their access to modern arms through north-east based militant groups, has forced the Home Ministry to review its strategy to counter Naxals more effectively.

According to sources in the Ministry, in January, Naxals targeted security forces by implanting IEDs inside corpses of CRPF personnel in Jharkhand. This is being seen as a major shift in the tactics adopted by Naxals to inflict maximum damage on security forces.

Underlining how Maoists were adding to their firepower, Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh told Parliament on Tuesday that Naxals were manufacturing improvised hand grenades and rocket propelled grenades in units that have come up in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

Intelligence and police reports indicated that Maoists had set up small arms units in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. Police and the CRPF were alerted on this and asked to deploy forces at strategic locations and step up operations to bust such units. The Union government was closely monitoring the situation and regularly issuing advisories to the Left Wing Extremism-affected States to keep a check on such activities, he said.

The sources said as Naxals were losing territories and their influence waning, they were adopting new tactics to fight security forces.

“In recent months we have seen more fierce battles between Naxals and security forces. To carry out deadly attacks, Naxals are using IEDs and improvised grenades.”

“The main strategy of Maoists is to get security forces booby-trapped in order to inflict maximum damage.

They are also trying to acquire modern guns and other arms and ammunition from militant groups active in the north-east.

Recently some Naxals were apprehended with China-made arms,” the official added.

As fight with the Naxals is getting more intensified and security forces are stepping up pressure on them, the Centre has deployed 532 companies of its armed police force, including the CRPF, in the LWE-affected States, while worst-affected States like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha have been pressing for more forces.