Maoists using high frequency waves to escape surveillance

Raipur: In order to avoid being intercepted by police and intelligence agencies, armed naxal cadres have now begun to communicate through High Frequency (HF) radio waves which the security forces are finding hard to "tap".

Top security officials deployed to undertake anti-naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and other states say an increasing number of Maoist cadres have now begun using the HF radio waves instead of Very High Frequency (VHF) waves used earlier, to escape the surveillance radars of intelligence units.

The forces are now looking to obtain and deploy advanced interception equipment which can intrude the HF waves.

"Naxalites and their cadres have been using cellular phones and VHF sets to communicate but recently we have found that they are now communicating on HF sets," Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Border Security Force (BSF) Ram Avtar told PTI.

We have been using our in-built equipments to track and intercept Maoist communication on wireless for quite sometime now, said the BSF officer, who commands five battalions (5,000 personnel) of the force in Kanker.

The BSF DIG, however, refused to divulge more information saying new methods are being developed and deployed to gather intelligence in this regard.

"Intercepting and tapping Maoist communication is a very vital intelligence for police and security forces. Movement of armed naxal cadres and their activities have been intercepted a number of times, giving the forces` a crucial edge in operations," a senior police officer, who requested anonymity, said.

The forces deployed in the anti-naxal operations grid like CRPF, BSF and state police have been using vehicle- mounted devices called `DF vehicles` which intercept radio communication. "But so far we do not have any equipment which can intercept HF 100 per cent," the officer said.

Some equipments developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), used by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, are already in place. Some new equipments are now needed to intercept the HF waves, he added.

A senior officer looking after anti-naxal operations here said senior cadres of the Maoist hierarchy use HF frequency for radio communication while it has also been found that they use multiple SIM cards to communicate with their cadres.

"The new challenge is to intercept the HF radio and wireless which will give the security forces two types of intelligence and information. One about the naxals operations and the other about their activities against the security and police forces," a senior CRPF officer said.