Intensive operation against Maoists in Chhattisgasrh

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Jagdalpur, May 11 (UNI) Security forces are on a hot pursuit in the tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh as a part of its five day intensive combing operation to flush out the Maoists rebels.

Police sources said the security personnel, belonging to the state police, para military including Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and India Reserve Battalion (IRB), have launched the campaign on May 10.

While top police officials refused to neither confirm nor deny that such an operation was being carried out in Naxalite infested South Bastar region, spread over in Dantewada, Bijapur and Narayanpur districts, sources said simultaneous raids combing operations were being carried out to chase and hunt down the Maoist rebels.

The intensive operation began a day before union home minister Shivraj Patil's visit to Bastar region to take stock of the conflict situation that has so far forced more than 50,000 people to stay in relief camps set up by the state government. During his last visit to the state, Mr Patil had hinted at establishing a joint command to effectively tackle the Naxalites.

Meanwhile, district administration sources said the union home minister Shivraj Patil, accompanied by state governor E S L Narasimhan, chief minister Dr Raman Singh and senior police and administrative officials have reached Aranpur in Dantewada district.

Later, they will visit Pamed, one of the worst Naxalite infested region, bordering Andhra Pradesh.

Mr Patil visit to the region also assumes significance in view of the recent supreme court observation about 'Salwa Judum'-- the ongoing anti-naxalite movement in Bastar-- and divergent views among political parties over the this campaign. The Congress party is also divided over the manner in which 'Salwa Judum' movement is being carried out with a group opposing it and another actively participating in it. UNI XC JJ 1110

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