CRPF bike brigade does the magic in Maoist corridor

As a result of the  joint strategy of the Commission and also the combined forces, despite the Maoists’ spectre looming large, villagers in the remote parts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura braved out of their hamlets to cast the ballot, something not ever seen in the Bengal’s history.

No wonder, the forces had taken a leaf straight out of the ultras' operation manual to ensure a peaceful polling in Jungle Mahal.

For the first time in the history of Bengal, paramilitary forces were provided with motorcycles to penetrate deep into the Maoist heartland to boost the confidence of the villagers.

“We have arranged 500 motorcycles from people of Bankura and adjoining areas and handed them over to the central forces to enable them to patrol villages before the polls and reach those booths where other vehicles could hardly access,” Bankura District Police Superintendent Pranab Kumar told the Deccan Herald on Wednesday.

In Barikul, Bhulagera, Taldanga, Simlipal and Matgoda in Bankura district that have vast forested border with Purulia and West Midnapore, the bike brigade of the central forces was frequently seen during Tuesday’s polling, providing the necessary confidence-building dose among the panic-striken villagers, specially in the wake of a Maoist boycott call for the polls.

During earlier strikes on the police and the forces, the Leftwing ultras often used motorcycles to escape through forested corridor which was their known gateway.

“These two-wheelers gave the forces tremendous edge in this region as there were not enough police vehicles to ferry adequate number of central forces when required.

Secondly, it was also impossible to reach villages situated deep inside the forests even by police jeep,” Kumar explained. The CRPF jawans also enjoyed the new system since it allowed them greater mobility and capability to react fast to attacks.

In fact, the small team of bikers, he said, could disperse within minutes or take up positions to retaliate against attackers.

“The biggest success is of course, gaining the confidence of a shaken electorate who were scared to step out and cast ballot,” Pranab Kumar said.

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