RAIPUR: Maoists chose lockdown as an occasion to identify the ground for laying improvised explosive device (IED) underneath the roads, that wore deserted look, to target the security forces in the conflict zone of Bastar, south Chhattisgarh.
Dantewada police thwarted a deceitful plan of the rebels by tracing a narrow subterranean tunnel along the Dantewada-Katekalyan tar road about 420 km south of Raipur, following the inputs revealed by the local villagers.
“Here comes the role of human intelligence that actually works in the conflict zone against the left-wing extremists. Such vital inputs add strength to the anti-Maoist campaign. These areas though are being routinely sanitised through de-mining activities by the paramilitary forces but still, lying below 4 feet down the surface, it couldn’t be detected. In the uncovered slender tunnel space an IED explosives of 100-150 kg can easily be planted. We acted on information gathered locally by the district reserve guards (DRG)”, the Dantewada district police chief Abhishek Pallava said.
Without the precise specifics from the local inhabitants about the location where Naxals get to bring off their plan, it becomes extremely difficult for the forces to timely act on it.
When engaged in the guerrilla warfare in hostile jungle terrain, the preeminence of modern weapons, superior technology, trained security forces can’t be compromised but the inherent power of local people has its own importance in such battle and so can’t be ignored, said Sunderraj P, inspector general of police (Bastar Zone).
The uncovered small conduit had an opening along the side of the road, covered with mud-filled gunny bags to conceal the point of entry.
“This is the second such tunnel we have found in the district. During the ongoing lockdown, the naxals know there will not be vehicles plying on the road other than those owned by the police or paramilitary forces or the political leaders moving with their security cover. It becomes easier for them to single out”, Pallava told Express.
Politicians having Z or Z+ security cover usually move with 3-4 vehicles in the Maoist-affected region. There is no public transportation allowed during lockdown on the roads and highways without distinction of essential. Besides the state police, the Central Reserve Police Force also have consequently been advised to avoid moving on their buses and big vehicles.