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New guerrilla squad emerges in Madhya Pradesh

Staff Correspondent

Naxalite activities gaining momentum in the state; posters supporting their cause come up

BHOPAL: Three Naxalites dalams -- Paraswada, Tanda and Malajkhand -- have been active in the three Madhya Pradesh districts of Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, but in the recent past a new Special Guerrilla Squad has come up in Balaghat district.

Violent Naxalite activities have been taking place in Madhya Pradesh since 1990 and till August 15 this year, the naxalites had committed 346 offences in the State. The naxalites have killed 33 policemen, 37 civilians and 5 Government servants while 12 naxalites have been killed in 53 encounters with Police. In the last 15 years, 105 naxalites have been arrested and nine of them have surrendered, a State Police spokesman told The Hindu .

A Special Task Force called "HAWK" has been raised for conducting anti-naxalite operations and since June 2004, Central Reserve Police Force companies have been deployed for the first time in the State to combat the naxalites. The Madhya Pradesh Vishesh Kshetra Suraksha Adhiniyam (Special Area Security Act) was enforced in the three naxalite affected districts in November 2001. Subsequently, in addition to the People's War Group (PWG), its other front organizations like Adivasi Kisan Majdoor Sangh, Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sangathan, Krantikari Kisan Majdoor Sangh, Adivasi Balak Sangh, Gram Raksha Dal, and Gram Rajya Committees were also banned by the State Government.

A senior police officer at the Police Headquarters here said the Madhya Pradesh Government had followed up its original three-pronged Integrated Action Plan supported by the Central Government for the purchase of modern weapons, communication equipment, security devices, enhancement of force and establishment of police stations by sending a Special Action Plan of Rs. 48.86 crores to the Union Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) for countering naxalism at the operational, developmental and counter-propaganda level.

A sub-Plan of Rs. 12.37 crores was again sent in May this year to the MHA for construction of police station buildings, residential houses and firing ranges. Even as the police was trying to grapple with the naxalite menace, handwritten posters supporting the naxalite cause and opposing the Independence Day celebrations were found pasted on the walls in many parts of the State Capital on August 15 and 16. The police arrested two persons in this connection. One of the arrested was A.S. Tomar, a self-professed secretary of Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist). The other person arrested was Vijay Sen, organizer of Janwadi Sabha.

The district police authorities told this correspondent that nothing much should be read in the poster episode and informed that the accused were booked under the Madhya Pradesh Property defacement Act and later released on bail.

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