Malkangiri/Sukma: The alleged failure of the security forces in the state in dealing with the Naxal menace, has helped the Red rebels to transform their ways and take on the administration in their bastion.
With the passage of time, Naxals are now reported to have moved away from their conventional attack methods and are working to change their overall strategy to make their attack more mechanical and lethal. At the same time, they are also evolving ways to baffle the security forces during combat operations in the jungles.
Several new attack modules have been noticed by the state police in the Naxal-infested regions of the state, such as Malkangiri. “Earlier the Naxals used to use triggered IED explosives to target only their enemies, but now they are reducing their dependence on manpower. They have recently shifted to using ‘pressure IEDs’ which do not require triggers and explode as soon as someone steps onto it,” Jagmohan Meena, Malkangiri SP told Orissa POST.
He, however, said that such steps have resulted in more civilian casualties. Aside from the security forces, more civilians and cattle roaming around the jungles are becoming victims of such blasts.
Malkangiri police further claim that the Reds have started using well-camouflaged spiked pits to trick anyone stepping into the jungle. Such pits are covered with jungle produce and have pointed spikes, especially crafted to kill or seriously injure their targets. This strategy is also claiming more civilian lives, let alone cattle and animals wandering in the forest.
Security experts believe that connecting the 151 cutoff villages in the Chitragonda block of Malkangiri through Gurupriiya bridge has slowly exposed the Reds to the security forces. Now, the forces are gaining a strategic advance through the connecting link, forcing the Naxals to adopt enhanced strategies to counter the administrtion.
The Sukma Police in Chhattisgarh, which often conduct joint operations against the Left Wing Extremists (LWEs) along the border with Odisha, believe that the threat from the Naxals in Odisha, especially Malkangiri, have diminished significantly.
“In the last few years, we have dealt with the Naxals in Malkangiri very well. Stepped up actions against the extremists have reduced Naxal activities in the region gradually. As a result, the Naxal committees that used to operate from their area have weakened extensively and are now on the verge of extinction,” Sukma SP Abhishek Meena told Orissa POST.
He also said that the Kangerwali committee of the Naxals in the Garba Division, one of the important committees of the rebels, is now almost non-existent in the Odisha border.