Jharkhand seeks sophisticated tools to counter Maoists (India)
Jharkhand is seeking sophisticated surveillance tools and anti-landmine vehicles from abroad for its anti-Maoist operation.
The state police wants to import anti-landmine vehicles from South Africa, in the wake of the high casualties among the force in the Maoist triggered landmine blasts, officials said.
It is also seeking ace surveillance tools from Israel to develop strategic defence system to counter Maoists.
"The state government has sought permission of the union home and external affairs ministries for the purchases," the official said.
He said the anti-landmine vehicles produced in South Africa were among the best in the world as they have metal detectors that can find landmines even in tarred roads.
At present Jharkhand has 19 indigenously built anti-landmine vehicles.
"Indian anti-landmine vehicles sometimes fail to protect the forces. So we are pressing for the South African ones," a police official told IANS.
Over 160 security personnel have been killed in landmine explosions in the state in the last five years.
In Koderma district three years ago, 15 personnel were killed in a blast despite being on an anti-landmine vehicle.
Maoists are active in 16 of the 22 districts of the state. Around 550 people, including 230 security personnel, have so far been killed in extremist violence in the last five years.
Von: 02 December 2005, http://www.newkerala.com