Chhattisgarh Police block 8 key supply networks of Maoists in Bastar since 2020; 38 people held

Cracking the supply networks is crucial in the fight against Left Wing Extremism as it is the key strength of Maoists active in Bastar since more than three decades, according to the police

October 23, 2022 03:31 pm | Updated 03:31 pm IST - Raipur

Image for representational purpose only.

Image for representational purpose only. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Bastar police in Chhattisgarh have busted eight key supply networks of Maoists and arrested at least 38 people in the last couple of years, choking the aid of medicines, explosives and logistics to the outlawed outfit to a great extent, a senior official said on October 23.

The establishment of more than 40 new police camps mostly along the supply corridor of Maoists during this period also helped in the task and to keep a tab on the inter-State movement of Maoist couriers, he said.

According to police, cracking the supply networks is crucial in the fight against Left Wing Extremism as it is the key strength of Maoists active in Bastar since more than three decades.

The Bastar region comprises seven districts — Bastar, Kanker, Kondagaon, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Bijapur and Sukma.

In the last couple of years, the police have made a significant dent into the supply network of various formations of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) of the CPI (Maoists), Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) P. Sundarraj told PTI.

The DKSZC, which handles Maoist activities in Bastar division, has been instrumental in executing several deadly attacks on security forces.

“At least eight key Maoist modules have been busted so far since early 2020 wherein 38 people, including businessmen, cops and local politicians allegedly engaged in providing medicines, explosives, weapons and essentials to Maoists, have been arrested,” he said.

These modules were mainly active in north and south Bastar, he said.

When the coronavirus-induced lockdown (in 2020 and 2021) paralysed the supply chain of Maoists, some key modules tried to meet their requirements and came under the police scanner, he said.

The same period helped police to crack down on their "over-ground operatives" who played a significant role in the supply of medicines, electronic gadgets and equipment to Maoists, the IG said.

Between March and May 2020, a major Maoist supply network was busted with the arrest of 14 people, including three construction contractors and two businessmen, from separate places in the State, as per police records.

This module was proactively working in Kanker district of north Bastar to provide shoes, clothes, walkie-talkie sets and other essentials to Maoists.

In June 2020, the Sukma district police arrested four Maoist couriers from two places and recovered a huge cache of ammunition from them, according to the data.

Later, two policemen posted in Sukma were also apprehended in the same case for their alleged involvement in the supply of ammunition to Maoists.

Two more persons, including a local BJP leader, were also arrested for allegedly playing an instrumental role in providing several items to Maoists in Dantewada in June 2020, as per police data.

In July this year, another key module of Maoist supply was busted. Nine people including a 51-year-old man hailing from West Bengal were arrested and materials used in explosives were seized from them, police records said.

“Maoists generally try to exploit the grey areas along the interstate borders for their activities as well as to operate their supply network. But police and paramilitary security forces across these borders have jointly cracked down on many supply teams of Maoists, pushing them on the back foot,” the IG said.

The Chhattisgarh police worked with their Telangana counterparts during COVID-19 and after the pandemic to check such activities, he said.

More than 40 new police camps were opened in the last three years, mostly along the supply corridor of Maoists. This also helped the police in effectively choking their supply chain, the official said.

“We have achieved success in this direction and hopefully would do even better in the near future,” he added.

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