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Naxals trying to make inroads into tiger reserve area: cops

 


Vivek Deshpande
Nagpur, April 19

A senior Naxal cadre has allegedly corroborated the police’s suspicion that Naxals are trying to constitute a dalam (military unit) for villages in and around the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR).

A state committee (CPI-Maoist) member and secretary of Chandrapur Area Committee, Bhimrao alias Bhanu alias Bhaskar Bhovte was arrested along with his wife Sunanda alias Megha alias Vanaja Vasant Ramteke in Gondia district a day before Home Minister P Chidambaram’s visit to Gadchiroli in December last year.

“Bhovte told us that a survey was done in TATR and surrounding villages in the recent past with the intention to form a dalam,” a senior police officer said.

A series of raids followed the couple’s arrests at the dens of Naxal activists in places such as Mul and Sindewahi, situated near the tiger reserve.

Some hand-written material, most of them survey reports, was seized. One of the reports was about the survey in the tiger reserve.

“A crackdown had ensued on some youth members of an organisation claiming to be a students’ body in Chandrapur a few years ago. While many of the youths, including some girls, had been deputed as dalam members under the North Gadchiroli Gondia Committee of CPI(Maoist), some were engaged by the Chandrapur Area Committee to work in the TATR landscape on building a dalam, our interrogation has revealed,” the official said.

The report mentions the “demarcation of a 8-km road from Mul to Somnath” (a Shiv temple nestling in the north-eastern TATR fringe) and “identification of our men in the villages along it.”

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