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Assam to get STF to fight militants

K Anurag in Guwahati | July 12, 2008 10:15 IST

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The Assam government will have a crack Special Task Force soon to carry out specific operations against insurgents as initiatives for the same has been started after getting approval from the state's finance department.

The force is being launched in the style and format of the Greyhound Battalion in Andhra Pradesh and is expected to be made operational within two months.

A state home department source informed that the STF against insurgents will be headed by the inspector general of Assam Police and will have aroud 130 select personnel pooled from different existing units of state police, besides new recruits.

The STF personnel will be sent for advanced training in counter-insurgency operations in different army training centres including the Jungle Warfare Training School at Vairengte in Mizoram.

The commando battalion of Assam police and the newly raised 23rd India Reserve Battalion will act as backup for the STF that will be entrusted to carry out specific operations against insurgents in different parts of that state, especially as a strike force.

Unlike personnel for other Assam police formations, the men from the STF will not be deputed to carry out normal law and order duties or engage in VIP security. It will be kept focused on the purpose for which it will be created -- to fight insurgents.

The Assam police uregently needs a crack specialised force to fight insurgents, given that a large number of existing state police personnel and commandos are engaged in guarding vital installations, normal policing and law and order duties.

About 7,000 Assam police personnel are required to protect VIPs and other vulnerable persons, about 3,500 personnel are engaged as PSOs and equal numbers of men in uniform are required to man escort vehicles accompanying VIPs in the state.

Meanwhile, the Assam government has moved the Centre with a request for approval and financial grant to raise the 24th India Reserve Battalion that will add more teeth in continuing their fight against insurgents.

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