By Sudhakar Reddy Udumula
Maoists have added to chilly powder, snares, bamboo sticks, camouflaged pits and traditional weapons in their arsenal to set booby traps to defend themselves against attacks by police parties and other pro-police groups, such as the Salwa Judum. This has been highlighted in the Central Military Commission of Maoists’ book on guerrilla tactics that was republished recently by AP police for distribution to security forces across the country.
An intelligence official from the state police said, “Police forces from other states and Central paramilitary forces do not have much knowledge about the booby traps laid by the Maoists. The AP police has seized their documents regarding guerrilla warfare from various encounter sites and formulated a manual. The Maoists are using simple techniques and also teaching these to people’s militia and tribals on the Andhra-Odisha Border, Dandakaranya in Chhattisgarh and other infested areas.”
One of the techniques involves keeping chilly powder packets on the roofs of the house and in clothes. When security forces burn down the houses, the pungent smoke leaves their eyes burning, driving them away. Bamboo sticks placed on the roof emit a sound like gun powder exploding and the police, suspecting that the enemy has opened fire, tend to retreat.
“The snare and noose, put for wild animals in the tribal areas, can be set up on the tracks used by police forces. A big pit can be dug up in the centre of the village entry points and it has to be camouflaged to make it look like any other place. When vehicles or police personnel enter the village, they will fall in it. They should be filled with thorns and other sharp objects. Small pits should also be dug up. To prevent cattle and children walking into these pits, they should place obstacles, which should be removed when they receive information about the enemy approaching,” said the Maoists’ documents.
The police manual, published on the basis of the Maoists’ documents, contains ambush techniques and how to carry out a mine-proof vehicle explosion.