Monday, April 12, 2010

The Mayawati government has now decided to have its own crack force of 400 commandos trained in jungle warfare. Sources said top UP Police officers w

Deepak Gidwani
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 1:23 I

The Mayawati government has now decided to have its own crack force of 400 commandos trained in jungle warfare.

Sources said top UP Police officers went into a huddle soon after Dantewada to take stock of the situation in the state. A senior officer revealed for the first time, UP Police recognised Maoist activity in a dozen districts.

For more than a decade now, they have insisted that Maoists are confined to the three districts of Mirzapur, Sonebhadra and Chandauli in remote eastern UP, bordering Bihar and Nepal.

Sources said the UP government was planning to raise the new force on the lines of ‘Greyhounds’, which have done a commendable job in reining in Maoists in Andhra Pradesh. It was decided at the crucial meeting that a proposal seeking financial aid for setting up a jungle warfare school in Mirzapur would soon be sent to the Centre.

The proposal had, in fact, been finalised several months ago by then ATS chief AK Jain, but had been gathering dust after he was shunted out.

A UP Police officer dealing with the matter said the state would approach the Union home ministry for a grant under the latter’s counter insurgency and anti-terrorist project. Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh governments have already been chosen for the Rs3-crore grant.

“For some reason, UP has been ignored for aid under this scheme,” the officer said, avoiding any reference to the political polemics between Mayawati and the Centre.

UP has half-a-dozen police training colleges, but none imparts training in modern warfare, terrorist encounters, landmines or pressure bombs.

“We have been using community policing in Naxal-affected areas to great effect,” additional DG Brij Lal said.

He said the Andhra experience had demonstrated that it was not a simple crime or law and order problem and needed to be tackled with “a personal touch”.

Lal said UP Police had involved poor and unemployed people in Maoist-affected areas for help in return for food and financial support for starting some small trade. “This is one of the main reasons there have been no Naxalite incidents in UP in the past three years,” he said.

However, another senior officer said the spread of Maoist activity to newer areas was worrying. “We have information that Naxalites are now working in the garb of social workers… we are keeping an eye on them,” he said.

No comments: