The Chhatisgarh police's five young Superintendents of Police known as the "Pandavas" constantly hone their strategies to break the "Chakravyuha" (maze) of Naxals in Dantewada and have tasted success in good measure.
The success achieved could be gauged from the fact that 107 Maoists have been eliminated since the launch of Operation "Green Hunt" in October 2009. Away from the media glare, the five SPs, guided by Inspector General of Police T J Long Kumer, have worked on a policy to drain the resources of Naxalites holed up in jungles of Bastar. The tribal-dominated area of Bastar was neglected for long helping Maoists to make it one of their strongholds.
With Bastar famous for its Tendu (bidi) leaf trade, The Maoists had a free run in this area, also known as Kashmir of Chattisgarh. Any trader wanting to start business had to shell out huge 'protection money' to the extremist groups. But now the situation seems to be different. The five young police officers -- Avinash Mohanty of Bijapur, Amresh Kumar Mishra of Dantewada, Rahul Bhagat of Narayanpur, Ajay Yadav of Kanker and Sundarraj P of Bastar -- have engaged more local people into the operations and are reaping rich dividends in steeming the naxal tide.
"The first thing these officers did was to choke the supply lines of Naxals holed up in the jungles of Bastar followed by engaging them in long encounters," a senior police official of Bastar range said here today. Assisted by para-military forces like the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force and Seema Suraksha Bal, the police personnel have choked almost all the entry and exit points of Naxals in the jungle, a strategy that forces Maoists to come out in the open.
"This way either they are arrested or killed in an encounter," the official said, adding since last Saturday 12 extremists have been killed. The number of Naxals killed in the last three to four months stands at 107. Bastar had earlier gained notoriety for being the den of the Maoists, where no police personnel could set foot without the permission of the Naxalites.
Police officials have kept the local needs in mind and are engaging them more and more into trade directly rather then bringing in middlemen, who used to be the overground workers of Maoists. "The role of middlemen has ended and the local population is getting the benefit by earning more than what they used to get," the official said, adding that earlier a good amount of money used to go to the Naxalities. "We are here to win the hearts of people and every effort is geared towards that. This helps us in return to get the better intelligence against the Maoist movement and neutralising their every move to score points over us," the official said, while complimenting the five SPs who are referred as "pandvas" in police circles of the state.