Chhattisgarh plans anti-Maoist drive along Orissa border

Raipur, June 7 (IANS) Chhattisgarh is set to launch a massive anti-Maoist drive in a forested pocket in Raipur district along the Orissa border, sources said Tuesday.

Nine Chhattisgarh policemen May 23 fell prey to the first ever deadly attack carried out by rebels in Raipur district border area.

Conceding that the May 23 attack was an evidence of the rising clout of Maoists in forests of Raipur, a senior officer here at police headquarters said: ‘The war against Maoists was largely confined to the state’s southern tip which is called Bastar region but rebels have now developed a new war zone in forests of Raipur district along Orissa.’

Maoists had ambushed a 10-member combing team of Chhattisgarh police led by Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Rajesh Pawar in Raipur district along the Orissa border killing nine policemen, including Pawar.

Mostly women insurgents, the attackers went on to cut up the dead bodies into pieces after shooting down the security personnel.

The Maoists’ brutalities had angered top officers here at police headquarters who now insist that a massive drive be launched to clear Raipur forests from Maoists’ hold.

‘The situation in Raipur district has already gone out of hands as Maoists have taken command in jungles. We need to flush them out urgently through a major operation otherwise the situation will be similar to Bastar region where rebels are in a position to carry out attacks on police and civilians at their will,’ the source added.