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Home > News > PTI

Centre moots steps to tackle growing Naxal menace

November 04, 2007 15:33 IST

With Naxal attacks on the rise, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, the Union Home Ministry is seriously considering a proposal to jack up ground-level intelligence collection by appointing more sleuths and raising additional battalions of para-military forces.

The proposal also comes against the backdrop of recent terror attacks in Ludhiana and Ajmer Dargah and in the light of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil's warning that public places, crowded areas and places of worship might be targeted.

A senior Home Ministry official said serious efforts were underway to appoint a large number of sleuths so that actionable intelligence was available to the police to foil attempts of naxals and terrorists to unleash violence.
In the latest Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, 15 policemen were killed on Friday in Bijapur district. On October 29, five policemen were killed in the same district by the Maoists.

Jharkhand, too, has witnessed a sudden rise in Naxal violence and in the latest attack in Giridih district on October 27, 17 people including a son of former chief minister
Babulal Marandi, were killed.

The attack was reminiscent of the killing of sitting JMM MP Sunil Mahto on March 4 this year by Naxals in East Singhbhum district.

The MHA official said the security establishment was examining CRPF's proposal for raising 118 battalions over the next 10 years and the Border Security Force's suggestion for having an additional 39 battalions over the next decade as part of their basic
perspective plan sought by the Home Ministry. While CRPF has 201 operational battalions, BSF has 157.
 The demand for deployment of CRPF, which is the biggest para-military force in the world, comes most from Naxal-hit states and from the northeastern region to fight insurgents.

To check the Naxal violence in Jharkhand, the home ministry is laying emphasis on intelligence gathering and on making jungle warfare an intrinsic part of police training.

The home ministry believes that having more local police in anti-naxal operations would ease the pressure on central forces as the affected states were over-dependent on CRPF.

The MHA has asked states to optimally use the central forces and infuse young blood into local policing for greater success of counter-operations.

The CRPF is currently deployed in full in high-stress areas against the norm of keeping 25 per cent of the para- military force in reserve for imparting mid-career training
and for de-stressing.

On the basis of recommendations by a Group of Ministers constituted after the Kargil conflict in 1999 that the CRPF be entrusted with all internal security duties, the para-military force has undergone massive expansion, doubling in strength in
the last few years.

The government is also examining BSF's proposal for expansion of its intelligence set-up. Though the strength of BSF, which guards the country's sensitive borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, has increased four-fold since 1975, the number of personnel in its intelligence wing has remained the same.
 The Centre also intends to raise new battalions of Assam Rifles, ITBP and SSB guarding various international borders.

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