NEW DELHI: With the rains coming to an end, and the visibility in the densely forested jungles increasing, security forces are ready to resume their two-pronged strategy against Naxals - penetrating deeper into strongholds and setting up security camps.
Sources in the Home Ministry said that a “big” anti-Naxal operation could be on the cards in states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha. Forces look to set up 24 Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), including ten in Chhattisgarh, seven in Maharashtra, six in Jharkhand and one in Odisha, before the year-end.
Besides these 24 camps, the government is also mulling a few more camps in Jharkhand and Odisha, a senior government functionary said, adding that the idea is to corner Maoists by opening up new police and paramilitary camps to cut down the area of Maoist influence to a minimum and then go out after big Maoist leaders.
“CoBRA, CRPF’s anti-Naxal specialized wing, in coordination with various state police forces is closely monitoring the movement of Maoists especially the senior rank holders. The strategy is to tighten the noose around Maoists by expanding the network of security camps especially in core Naxal areas. With the rains now over, the work on security camps has already been expedited. Big anti-Naxal operations would follow thereafter,” said a senior CRPF official who is deployed in Chhattisgarh.
A senior intelligence official in New Delhi said that wanted Maoist leader Madvi Hidma, along with a dozen armed Maoists was seen in two villages in Dantewada two weeks ago. After the 2017 Burkapal encounter, security forces have been employing various strategies to counter the influence and movement of Maoists. There has been a steep decline in violence levels recently.