Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Army units to be deployed in Chhattisgarh: Antony

Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Indicating increasing involvement of the Army in the drive against Naxalite guerrillas, Defence Minister AK Antony today said Army units would be deployed in Chhattishgarh — one of the states severely affected by the Naxalite strikes — to help the police and paramilitary personnel in their fight against the Maoists.

Addressing a press conference here today, he said short of directly participating in the operations against the Naxalites, the Army would do everything possible to help the state police and the central paramilitary forces to tackle guerrillas effectively.

“We shall give the police and paramilitary forces full logistic support. We shall give them more training. We shall give them aircraft,” Antony said. The Defence Minister said he was aware that the Naxalites posed a “serious threat”, and added the government had adopted a two-pronged approach to face the challenge. The government had initiated steps for massive development of Naxal-hit areas, while simultaneously the police and paramilitary action against armed guerrillas was being given full support, he said.

He said calling the Army for internal law and order problem should be the “last resort”, and added he was confident that the state police and paramilitary forces would be able to put an end to the Naxalite challenge.

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