Operation 'Octopus' successful: Naxal stronghold of Burha Pahar falls to security forces

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Representational image. Photo: PTI

Ranchi (Jharkhand): 'Operation Octopus' - the joint operation launched by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jharkhand Jaguar in September this year to capture the heavily mined 'Burha Pahar' hilly range in Garhwa district of Jharkhand seems to have started yielding positive results.

With security forces having set up their camps, the region is witnessing development.

From construction of roads to infrastructure for the supply of electricity in remote places, a series of development projects have been started.

Inspector General of Police (Jharkhand sector) Amit Kumar said 'Operation Octopus' launched by CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar - a special task force of Jharkhand Police, in September this year to capture Naxal bastion 'Burha Pahar', has been successful.

"Our teams are in a dominant position, and we have successfully established control in the 'Burha Pahar' region, which used to be known as naxal corridor," Kumar told ANI.

"The operation will continue until we completely dismantle Naxal infrastructure in the region," he said.

According to officials, the 'Burha Pahar' hilly forest terrain is spread over 55 sq km area bordering three states - Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar - and was used as a corridor by Naxals.

'Burha Pahar' region stretches across three districts - Balrampur, Latehar and Garwah - along Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand border. It was a stronghold of Naxals led by their leader Arvind.

Attempts had been made in past to free the region from Naxals but the security forces did not succeed in taking hold of the region. In 2008, five security personnel had lost their lives when the forces tried to penetrate the hilly forest range.

"People in Naxal-affected areas are now getting benefits from health and education facilities and welfare schemes. These regions didn't have basic infrastructure and amenities for the last four decades," an official said.

IG Amit Kumar said that the 'Operation Octopus' was carried out by CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar and they made four camps in Aurangabad in Bihar.

The main operation was launched on September 4 and the security forces took over Burha Pahar on September 7.

"The second phase of the operation was held in September, where 4 camps were established in the region. Our forces are sanitizing the area and defusing the IEDs. Arms and ammunition of Naxals are also being recovered," IG Kumar said while adding that 29 IEDs were recovered from the region.

"Jharkhand is on the way to becoming Naxal-free. Main strongholds Burha Pahar, tri-junction of Chaibasa, Khunti and Saraikela and Parasnath Mountain are in our control," he asserted. (ANI)

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