Spike in use of nails by left extremists

As a response to this, security forces are now testing anti-spike shoes in the two worst-hit Naxal districts of Sukma and Bijapur.

Published: 16th January 2022 08:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2022 08:58 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  Pushed to desperation by a string of successful operations, arrests and killings of top leaders, Maoists are increasingly resorting to using spikes in order to deter security forces from conducting operations in Naxal areas. Use of spikes by Maoists went up by around 12 times last year as compared to 2020, official records accessed by this newspaper show.

As a response to this, security forces are now testing anti-spike shoes in the two worst-hit Naxal districts of Sukma and Bijapur. A total of 9,721 spikes were recovered by security forces from Naxal areas last year, as compared to 813 in the previous year, according to data available with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which shows that dependence of Maoists on spikes increased significantly last year.

A senior CRPF official, who is posted in Chhattisgarh, said many troopers have had their feet pierced by 3-4 inch long nails in the last one year, adding that the number of such injuries has gone up. Naxals use wooden and iron boards with nails which they bury in holes dug roughly a foot deep to prevent troopers from entering deep Naxal pockets.

“The spikes have been discovered in not just random areas in the Naxal affected states but in core Naxal areas where we have recently built security camps and in other Naxal strongholds where more camps are proposed. Naxalism is on the decline and they are using spikes out of desperation,” the official explained. Nail board traps are a cheap, easy option for Naxals for impeding the movement of security forces.

When troopers stumble into these traps, rusted nails slice through their feet causing injuries to muscle and ligaments. The injuries are made worse by the added weight that the troopers carry, like backpacks, arms and ammunition. “These wounds do not kill. But what they do is immobilise the troops and slows down operations, since the other soldiers have to then attend to the injured soldiers,” explained a source.

Rise in the use of spikes by Naxal insurgents is being seen in tandem with the growing network of camps laid out in areas formerly occupied by the red extremists. A security expert said spikes are a cheaper alternative to IED, which requires expertise to put together, plant and detonate. Anti-Naxal operations have seen a string of successes of late, with the arrest of CPI (Maoist) politburo member Prashant Bose.

India Matters


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