‘Operation Prahaar’ to wipe out top Maoist leaders, urban ultras

Security forces in East Singhbhum and West Singhbhum districts on Tuesday launched an intensive operation in Bengal-Jharkhand, Bengal-Odisha border areas and inside Saranda forests to wipe out top CPI (Maoist) guerrilla leaders and ‘urban Naxals’.

The initiative was taken close on the heels of unanimous resolution to launch final assault on Maoists– especially its top leadership and ‘urban Naxals’ in the eastern regional police coordination committee meeting at Ranchi.

The meeting of police top brass from five states – Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh – in Ranchi on September 7 mainly focused on wiping out top Maoist leadership and crack down on the urban Naxal network through which they procure finances, ideological and moral support and logistics, according to sources.

Sources said a large contingent of East Singhbhum police, CRPF, COBRA battalions and JAP forces have started surrounding the Budha-Budhi hills under Patamda block of East Singhbhum on the West Bengal border since last night to corner the 14-member PLGA guerrilla force led by Maoist Central Committee member Aakash alias Asim alias Timir alias Rakesh Mondal, carrying a reward of Rs 1 crore on his head.

“Under the special strategy after the meeting of police of five states in Ranchi, we have launched intensive operations in East Singhbhum’s border areas with West Bengal to neutralise the guerrilla squad led by Aakash, the last of the PLGA dalam in the district. Apart from district police, CRPF, COBRA, JAP and SAP battalions are marching into the jungles since last night,” Anoop Birthare, Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police (SSP), said on Wednesday, adding that government has set a target of making 20 districts in the country free of Maoists.

“The government has identified this final assault as ‘Operation Prahaar’ under which a target has been set to neutralise 25 top Maoist leaders in the country. The list has been sent to police headquarters of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharasthra. Though maximum number of Maoist leaders from Chhattisgarh figure in the list but six top Maoists from Jharkhand and West Bengal – Aakash, Sudhakaran, Ajay Mahato, Prasant Bose alias Kishan da, Mihir Besra and Sachin Mardi are also in the list,” a senior IPS officer said.

Birthare said that the operation was being carried out jointly with West Bengal police, CRPF battalions and other forces in West Bengal.

“We will have a meeting of all the SPs, ASPs, CRPF commanders of bordering districts of West Bengal and Odisha here on September 18 to further coordinate and draw a more effective action plan,” said Birthare.

The SSP had a meeting with top police and CRPF officials here on Tuesday too.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 15:29 IST

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