The Police Department in the state completed one-year of anti-Maoist operations on Thursday without bearing any fruitful result. The police had first confirmed Maoist presence in state on February 13, 2013, in the Pulingom forest in Kannur.
The rumours about the presence of armed persons in the forest was first reported from Kanamvayalil near Cherupuzha in Kannur. The estate labourers here had informed the police that they had seen a six-member armed gang, including a woman, on February 1, 2013. However, they had passed this information to the police on February 12 only.
The police had confirmed the information passed on to them by the estate labourers on February 13. The then Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan informed the State Assembly on February 18 that the government would deploy an action force to deal with the Maoist situation. A Special Commando
Force under the Kerala Police ‘Thunderbolt’ started combing operations in Munderi Forest area near here on February 24, on the basis of a fresh report about the presence of armed persons in the forest area.
“The anti-Maoist operation in the state is on the right track. But we are keeping the details away from public owing to the nature of the action plan. It is joint efforts with the help of different government departments to tackle the situation by taking the tribals residing in the forest area into confidence. The government expects a breakthrough in the Maoist operation within a short time,” said Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, now the Minister for Forest.
Presence of Maoists was reported from around 15 tribal colonies in Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Malappuram districts. They had reportedly visited five colonies more than once.
The strong presence of police and commando wing did not deter the suspected groups from coming out of their hiding and interacting with the tribes. They, reportedly, collected food grains from the tribal colonies and even attacked government officials two times during this period. 45 police stations spreading in these four districts in Malabar are on the ‘attack list’ of suspected Maoist gang as per the intelligence report.
“The police is moving ahead in the right direction in the anti-Maoist operations in the state. We were in the advantage in the beginning itself and it is difficult to comment about it at present,” Malappuram District Police Chief Putta Vimaladitya, who is leading the anti-terror squad in the state, told ‘Express’. However, sources in the intelligence wing pointed out many hurdles in the anti-Maoist operations. A senior officer in the special branch said that they do not know even the number of Maoists that have infiltrated into the state forests. He added that the police have identified a few Maoist leaders who had visited Tribal colonies in the state.
But it is difficult to track everyone as they do not even have photographs of most of the persons involved with the extremist group.