"An alert has been sounded in all districts. The police officer leading the operation against the Maoists has been directed to take precautions during operations," Additional Director of Police (Law and Order) SN Pradhan, who is also the state police spokesperson said.

He said, "Maoists have got training to use methane and nitrogen compounds in liquid form. Such liquid form of chemical weapons are hung on trees or thrown on security forces, and they set off a fire."

There are reports that the Maoist guerrillas have hired professional engineers to train their cadre in the use of the chemical weapons. Guerrillas are allegedly trained to plant bombs on the roadside or in human bodies and also track the messages of the security forces.

In January, after the bodies of security personnel killed in a Maoist attack in Latehar district were airlifted to Ranchi for post-mortem, doctors found a bomb in the stomach of one of them and it was defused. It was sheer good fortune that the bomb did not detonate when the bodies were being airlifted.

Maoist guerrillas in the state have, in the past, used technology to track wireless messages of security forces. These guerrillas are active in 18 out of 24 districts of Jharkhand.


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