Saturday, December 15, 2007

Quality training the by word

Saturday December 15 2007 10:26 IST


BHUBANESWAR: Acknowledging the sophistication with which the AK-47 toting Maoists have been operating of late, the brainstorming session on the second and last day took note of imparting quality training to security forces engaged against the left wing extremists (LWEs).

The Union Home Ministry’s Task Force took stock of the challenges posed by the Maoists across the country. The meeting comes ahead of the chief ministers’ conference convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 20 in New Delhi.

Sources said the State Government has submitted a proposal to the Centre to provide Rs 60 crore for improving the training facilities for the Grey Hounds, a force created to fight the Naxalites.

The Centre is reported to have agreed to the proposal. Most of the States felt better training can substantially bring down the casualty figure of the forces engaged in Maoist-hit districts.

M.L. Kumawat, Special Secretary in the ministry, who chaired the meeting, told media persons that barring Chhattisgarh, Maoist-related violence and casualty rate have come down in all the States.

‘The meeting focused on comprehensive measures like giving equal importance to both the developmental activities and the security aspect,’ he pointed out. Claiming that the menace would come to an end ‘one day,’ Kumawat said more and more Maoist cadres are being arrested and the situation is improving in comparison to the previous years.

The officials, headed by Kumawat, inspected the training centre of the Special Operations Group (SOG) at Chandaka near the capital. DGP Gopal Chandra Nanda and Director (Intelligence) Harmohan Praharaj briefed the delegates about the training infrastructure in the State.

Top intelligence officers from nine Maoist-affected States — Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — exchanged their views on the present situation and suggested modalities on how to combat the menace, sources said.

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