Raipur: Maoists have imposed a ban on use of cell phones in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-wracked Bastar to “disable” the intelligence network of security forces in the region, police sour-ces said on Saturday. Inte-lligence sources said the rebels have also launched a drive in remote areas in Bastar to seize cell phones from the local tribals.
Sources said Naxals have issued a directive to tribals to deposit their cell phones with the local rebel leaders and warned of serious consequences if they defied the diktat. “We have received reports of Naxals enforcing ban on use of cell phones in remote villages. The ultras have also been forcing the local tribals to part with their cell phones or face serious consequences,” Rajendra Narayan Das, SP of Kanker said.
The drive apparently was aimed at “disabling” intelligence network of security forces in Naxal-stronghold areas by identifying the police informers.
“Naxals are scrutinising the cell phones of villagers to check if phone numbers of police personnel have been stored in them. The rebels punish those whose cell phones have such numbers saved, suspecting them as police informers,” Mr Das said.
A senior police officer posted in south Bastar disclosed that several innocent tribals who were found to have stored mobile numbers of their kin serving in police department were executed after being branded police spies by the ultras.
“The other motive was to prevent security forces from locating their movements during the Lok Sabha polls in Bastar on April 10,” he said....