Thursday, December 6, 2007

Maoists plan to strengthen 'guerrilla army'

Raipur, Dec 6 - The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) plans to overhaul its frontal fighter wing, the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), to tackle the army which it thinks will be deployed in the group's strongholds spread across 13 states, officials here said.Earlier this week, the police found pamphlets in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region announcing the rebels' decision to strengthen the PLGA and the Jan Militia, or people's army.

'They appear to want to take their war capacity to a level where they can handle the Indian Army and the Border Security Force if they are deployed in future to take on the guerrillas,' Pawan Deo, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Kanker range, told IANS over the phone.
PLGA is a unit of the CPI-Maoist that has full-time fighters armed with rocket launchers, mortars, landmines and sophisticated weapons. The Jan Militia squads are part-time cadres equipped with guns and traditional weapons such as sharp edged axes and sickles and bows and arrows.

The banners and posters were recovered during the PLGA celebration week Dec 2-8, the Maoists organised to motivate their cadres to step up the battle against the government.
The PLGA Week began Sunday with the brutal killing of a police constable in full public view near a police station in Dantewada district and the derailing of an iron-ore laden train heading towards Andhra Pradesh.The next day, on Monday, the rebels set a school building on fire in Kanker district and looted foodgrain from a public distribution shop.On Tuesday, they set ablaze a private truck in Bijapur.

Anticipating widespread violence during the PLGA Week, the government put on high alert the thousands of police and paramilitary forces deployed in Bastar region for counter-insurgency operations.Chhattisgarh is one of the worst hit from Maoist violence amongst the 13 Indian states where the rebels are active. According to officials, about 900 people have been killed since the Maoist movement was launched in the state.Over 50,000 people have moved into 23 government-run relief camps in Dantewada and Bijapur districts due to terror Maoists have spread in the region.

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