Manipur PLA training Naxals in Jharkhand

Ranchi: Extremist groups from Northeast have added a new dimension to Left Wing Extremism especially in Jharkhand as they appeared have aligned together with cadres of Manipur`s banned People`s Liberation Army providing arms training to Naxal groups.

"There have been many instances in various operations where we have raided and collected evidence as well as killed fighters belonging to Northeast outfits. This clearly indicates exchange of technical know-how of armed insurgents from the Northeast with the Naxal outfits operating in Jharkhand," says Deputy Inspector General Operations (CRPF), Chaibasa, Bhanu Pratap Singh.

The central paramilitary force along with the state police have been combing Sarju jungles in Lathehar district to hunt for Naxals and insurgents of PLA. "We had information that a group from People`s Liberation Army Manipur had travelled to Jharkhand to provide weapons` training to Naxal groups operating here. According to our information a large number of cadres from PLA will join the red outfits here in their fight," says another senior official of the para-military force.

The combing operation code-named `Operation Hop – 2` in the Sarju jungles had begun earlier this month and has brought out evidence of groups from Northeast aligning with banned Naxal groups, the CRPF official claims.

Jharkhand has been the most Naxal violence affected state after Chhattisgarh and also forms the red-corner axis of Left Wing extremists and the presence of PLA and other northeast groups means more problems for security forces, the official said.

The districts of Palamu and Chatra are key Naxal-affected districts in Jharkhand, a state where 18 out of 22 districts are fighting Left wing extremism. There are over six Naxal outfits operating, of which five — Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TSPC), Jharkhand Liberation Tigers (JLT), Sarwastra Pupili Sammorcha (SPS), Jharkhand Prastuti Committee (JPC) and Jharkhand Jan Murti Parishad (JJMP) are more active.

Another problem dogging the anti-Naxal operation was co-ordination between various state police forces in the red-corridor spanning from Andhra Pradesh to Jharkhand, involving states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and parts of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

"We are trying to talk to the chief ministers of the Naxal-affected states for better accessibility in the connected forest areas. There are plans to depute DIGs in these states, so that joint-operations could be worked out," said IG CRPF, Jharkhand, D K Pandey.

"The situation can be brought under control if the Centre asks the forest departments along with the CRPF and the state police to keep a strict vigil in forest area. The forest department should also have active participation to rid the state from this internal security threat," he said.