Gun-making unit of Maoists unearthed in Jharkhand

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In what is being considered as a prize catch, security forces have for the first time unearthed a full-fledged gun-manufacturing unit run by the Maoists deep in the forests of Simdega district in Jharkhand.

The factory is believed to have been set up two months ago and had lathe machines, which were procured from Kolkata — about 500 km away — and transported. The forces also found that the factory was being run on electricity from generator sets snatched from BSNL towers in the vicinity.

The discovery of this gun-manufacturing unit followed a sustained operation against the Maoists over the past one week by the security forces led by the CRPF in all the seven Maoist-affected states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Orissa.

During this drive, security forces for the first time managed to comb new areas in Niyamgiri hills of Orissa that were always dominated by Maoists.

The forces conducted 49 operations simultaneously in the affected states from December 26 to January 1, with the aim to destabilise the Maoist movement ahead of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in the next few months.

"We had never planned such an operation before and this was also done to bring all the forces involved in anti-Maoist operations on a common table. It was a concerted drive against the Maoist groups who take advantage of gaps in the inter-state boundaries. We also recovered a lot of literature, the attempt is to analyse each and every document," said CRPF DG Dilip Trivedi.

Intelligence agencies had come to know of the gun-manufacturing units being run by the Maoists for the first time in 2012, after the arrest of senior Maoist leader Sadanala Ramakrishna from Kolkata. The rebels used to procure raw materials in parts and assemble them in the unit.

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