Bankura Jan. 25. — Considering the frequent invasion and continued threat perception by the hardcore Maoist ultras in Bankura-Purulia stretches, the state police has initiated a true electronic surveillance across the jungle stretches in the districts. For the first time, electronic spying has been given value added importance. Police for a long time had been seeking Central assistance to procure more gadgets besides sophisticated arms. Police have introduced night shot cameras exclusively in the jungle stretches falling under three police stations in Bankura and Purulia those have close proximity to the Jharkhand border. The Bankura police was equipped with night vision binoculars two years back. The binoculars have failed to fetch fruitful result as yet and so the police required having spying gadgets in the jungle corridors to have a better surveillance.
After the blood bath in Bandwan, Purulia last month, in which a CPI-M leader, Rabi Kar and his wife were killed, police took a serious note of the situation and felt equipping the forces with modern handy gadgets. Police was compelled to look for electronic surveillance because the intelligence network proved to be less efficient in Bankura and Purulia to help curbing the Naxalite menace in the past six years. Rather, the unskilled movement of the intelligence officials in either way encouraged the ultra squads to brave the traditional policing and unleash a reign of terror in the jungles adjacent to villages.
In the past six years, more than eight CPI-M leaders and three policemen including two OCs have been gunned down by the militants in Bankura, Purulia and Midnapore (West). Police in these south Bengal districts are truly in a fix as yet. The cry for securing a sensitive intelligence network besides the usual combat operation was highly ventilated in the state police headquarters from the respective districts. The IGP (Western Zone), Mr Banibrata Basu said: “We had placed fund back up to the Centre. We have got landmine proof vehicles for these districts but we need to develop further to eradicate the deficiencies.”
The Maoists did not give up invasion in Bankura, Purulia even after the Bhomragarh episode. Several Maoist handouts and posters were seen in Bankura and Purulia seeking mass support in favour of a proposed bandh by the outfit on the Republic Day on 26 January. The posters unleashed a fresh threat perception that stated that “the bandh is against police-sponsored oppression to wedge the voice of the democratic rebellions.” The outfit wreaked further havoc in Bandwan by demolishing an under-construction forest guesthouse on 23 January midnight.
Considering the gravity of the situation, police geared up for stringent surveillance measures prior to the Republic Day celebrations. The jungle corridors those are mainly used by the ultras during insurgency are covered with remote censor digital cameras. Mr Gangeswar Singh, DIG, told reporters that the cameras are capable to take photographs of the passerby even in darkness. This will also help the police to identify the squad members taking part in the operations. Police in Ranibandh, Barikul, Simlapal, Raipur and Sarenga have expressed a positive hope expecting a better security network this time