Maoists appoint Kishenji ‘replacement’ for revival
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Kosa is believed to have been the mastermind behind the 2010 Dantewada massacre in Chhattisgarh, in which Maoists had killed 76 CRPF personnel.
Considered 24-25 in the hierarchy of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) till a year ago, Kosa has suddenly risen up the ladder and is now seen as one of the top 10 CRB leaders.
Security agencies have information about the movement of of Kosa in West Bengal and nearby states of Jharkhand and Bihar. Officials see his elevation as an attempt by the Maoists to re-activate their cadres in these states, especially in West Bengal.
Also known by the aliases 'Sadhu' and 'Gopanna', Kosa is reportedly 52-year-old and carries a reward of Rs 7 lakh on his head. He was the secretary of the Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee when the Dantewada massacre was planned. He is believed to have studied the pattern of movement of security forces for over six months to plan the attack.
"We have alerted the state police as well as the other security forces involved in anti-Maoist operations in Bengal to keep a watch on his movement. He is very good with arms and ammunition and a master at guerrilla warfare. We have circulated his photographs available with us to other agencies also," said an official.
Step up operational efficiency: CRPF DG
The CRPF chief has told his men that the scale of operations against Maoists has dipped drastically in the past one month and called upon his men to step the operational efficiency. In a meeting with senior officers, Director General Pranay Sahay asked his men to plan more intelligence-based operations with the state police.
"The DG also discussed the need for preventive action against IED, which have been the biggest cause of casualties in the force," said a senior officer who attended the meeting. Of the 41 CRPF jawans killed this year, at least 30 were killed by IEDs reportedly planted by the Maoists. More than 100 officers of the CRPF attended the meeting held recently.
The CRPF is also facing a shortage of vehicles after the government banned purchasing new ones. To tide over the crisis, underutilised vehicles, even from Maoist affected zones, have been transferred to the needy zones.