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Chhattisgarh: Migrants walk across risky Maoist zone with IEDs planted beneath

Over 1500 IEDs have been recovered by the security forces in Bastar region alone from 2010 to March this year even as the routine de-mining operations continue, the police said.

Published: 16th May 2020 03:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2020 03:23 PM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers walk along a railway track from Bengaluru to Chhattisgarh, near Nandi Hills in Chikkaballapur

Migrant workers walk along a railway track from Bengaluru to Chhattisgarh, near Nandi Hills in Chikkaballapur on Friday | Pandarinath B

Express News Service

RAIPUR: The improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs), which remains a big challenge for the security forces engaged in a virtual war against the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in Chhattisgarh, emerges as another concern amid Covid-19 outbreak as the impatient starving migrant labourers walking across potentially dangerous forested terrain with IEDs randomly planted beneath by the rebels.

IED blasts inflicting casualties on security forces have turned the Bastar a bloody conflict zone in south Chhattisgarh. Over 1500 IEDs have been recovered by the security forces in Bastar region alone from 2010 to March this year even as the routine de-mining operations continue, the police stated citing the statistics.

“The borders in south Chhattisgarh and adjoining states are quite porous. There was a flow of migrant workers who entered Bastar on their way to states such as Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal, Rajasthan and other places. Many were residents of Chhattisgarh. Maoists resort to using IEDs for inflicting harm to security personnel, so we are watchful as these labourers enter the state through the forests and unpredictable terrain.

"Situations now gradually getting streamlined with operation of road transportation and special train services. The migrants are picked-up the moment they are noticed and then shifted to the nearest block or district headquarters, from where arrangements are made assisting them to continue the journey to their respective states”, said Sunderraj P, inspector general of police (Bastar zone).

The migrants are moving across Bastar on foot through some of the worst Maoist-affected areas, where the Red bridge have planted pressure IED bombs, booby traps among others targeting the forces. At times it becomes difficult for the police and the administration to keep an eye owing to densely forested areas where the labourers enter, many of them after losing the right directions to their destinations.

“We have a good presence in remote areas and coming to the rescue of the migrant labourers. So far around 1500 belonging to various states have been taken care of”, the IG added. The base camps of security forces in interior areas emerge as much relief to labourers local administration, district police and paramilitary forces in Bastar zone are doing their utmost to facilitate their onward journeys.

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