At least 10 Naxalites including Harish Bhushan the state committee secretary were killed in an encounter along the Odisha-Telangana border on Friday. The encounter is important in a lot of ways. Firstly it gunned down top Naxalites and secondly, it prevented a massive build up.
However, the most important aspect what one got to witness in this encounter was shadow intelligence. This is a relatively new strategy that was introduced after security forces suffered casualties in recent times in Naxal attacks.
The build-up of the Naxalites was learnt about thanks to shadow intelligence. A set of dedicated officers are deputed to shadow the targets. The first step is to identify the target and then three officials are roped in to shadow the targets and also gather all possible information.
Thanks to this new strategy the big build happening in the forests were discovered. Naxalites rely heavily on local support and forced sympathy. However, in recent times, the Intelligence had moved towards the technical side and this had not exactly helped the cause.
It was then decided to introduce shadow intelligence which indicated a clear shift from technical to human intelligence. Meetings to this effect have been taking place since the past year and finally, in May 2017 it was decided to introduce this.
Thanks to shadow intelligence, the forces were able to pinpoint, identify and locate the Naxalites. Shadow intelligence not only tracks movements of Naxalites in the forest areas. It also shadows sympathisers, informers and others attached to the Naxalites.