Sunday, June 21, 2009

Full-fledged Cobra operation in Naxal-hit states to start soon

21 Jun 2009, 0955 hrs IST, PTI


NEW DELHI: The much anticipated full-fledged operation of the special anti-Naxal force – Cobra -- in Left-wing extremism-hit states is set to start
soon.

Two of the initially raised battalions (about 2,000 personnel) of Combat Battalion for Resolute Action have already been deployed in both Chhattisgarh and Orissa, official sources said.

Nearly 2,000 elite commandos of the force, who completed their training at Jungle Warfare Training school from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Silchar in Assam and equipped with 19 different modern assault weapons, are waiting for a final nod to start their exclusive operations, the sources said.

The anti-Naxal force, which also has its own intelligence units are currently in the process of setting up their intelligence network besides getting acquainted to the topography of the area where they will operate, they said.

The CRPF, under whose command and control CoBRA would function, is already in the process of raising and training a batch of four new battalions of the special unit, which would be completed this fiscal.

As per the recruitment plan, the men would be selected from the existing ranks of the force rather than choosing them from the freshers.

"The minimum criteria to be part of Cobra would be five years of experience within the force besides high health parameters," the sources said.

As per the strategy chalked out, Cobra would undertake two kind of operations, one based on intelligence and the other non-conventional jungle warfare, they said.

According to the deployment plan, two battalions of the elite force would be stationed in Jharkhand and three in Chhattisgarh.

One Battalion each would be posted in Orissa, Bihar and Maharashtra besides two in Uttar Pradesh.

The government is currently in the process of acquiring land for the new force with two lands with over 100 acre each already been developed in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

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