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Centre to add 15,000 personnel for anti-Naxal operations

Source: PTI
February 18, 2010 19:50 IST
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As Maoists continued to strike at will, the Centre is planning to deploy approximately 15,000 additional paramilitary personnel by April in the Naxal-affected states, to deal with the extremists.

These men will be in addition to the 60,000 central security personnel currently deployed to assist the state governments to counter the Naxals.

The men, who are now being acquired from forces like Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police, will first undergo a six-week training on jungle warfare, before being deployed on the ground, a home ministry official said.

Security forces are now engaged in an offensive against the Maoists in the three inter-state junctions which are considered to be the hotbed of the extremists. They are Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra-Orissa, Chhattisgarh-Orissa and West Bengal-Jharkhand.

The government is also planning to launch an operation in the West Bengal-Orissa border. In all the operations, the state police forces are taking the lead role, while the central paramilitary forces are assisting them.

"All anti-Naxal operations are going on in close coordination with concerned state governments, with active assistance from the central government. The long-term
operations will be going on till the areas are cleared of Maoists and the rule of the law is restored there," the official said.

On Monday, in a daring attack, the Maoists killed 24 personnel of Eastern Frontier Rifles in West Bengal's Midnapore district.

In another strike, 12 tribals were killed by the Maoists in Bihar's Jamui district on Wednesday night.

In 2009, the number of deaths among civilians in Naxal-affected states was 591, while 317 security personnel and 217 militants were also killed during last year, indicating a rising trend.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had described the Maoist problem as a cause of 'grave concern' and feared that the trend of rising violence will continue in 2010.

According to a government estimate, there are 33 districts in the country which are seriously affected by the Maoist menace, while another 50 districts have been infested by Maoists. Nearly 40,000 sq km of area in India is now controlled by the extremists.

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