Saturday, December 10, 2005

BSF to take on Naxals in Bihar

SUDHI RANJAN SEN


Posted online: Saturday, December 10, 2005 at 0218 hours IST



NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 9: After the PMO pulled up the Union Home Ministry for failing to contain the growing Naxal menace, the ministry has decided to send in the Border Security Force (BSF) to Bihar. The move is part of a massive anti-Naxal offensive, sources said.

Sources said that at least 3 battalions of BSF—over 3,000 men—will shortly join the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Bihar which already has about 4,000 men involved in anti-Naxal operations. Besides, the Centre would send an additional 3 battalions of CRPF to the state, sources said. It is understood that anti-Naxal operations would shortly be launched in Bihar and adjoining states where the ultras have of late stepped up their activities.



National Security Advisor M K Narayanan was understood to have expressed strong displeasure at the daring Naxal attacks in Bihar, the latest being the Jehanabad jail-storming in which prisoners including some Naxal leaders were set free. The ministry is believed to have been asked to take a ‘‘proactive stand’’ and galvanise Naxal-hit states into action against the ultras.

The reasons for sending the BSF are many. It’s being argued that unlike the Black Cat Commandos of the NSG who returned from Bihar without much success, the BSF was not a specialised force. BSF is also specially trained for counter-insurgency, has wide experience, and is better equipped than the CRPF or sate police to take on Naxalites. Moreover, it has its own intelligence wing that has proved itself in J-K.

The Union Home Ministry has also set in motion a fresh monitoring mechanism. In a meeting of state nodal officers—appointed to coordinate inter-state anti-Naxal operations—it has directed states to start anti-Naxal operations and told them that the Ministry would monitor the operations and play a more proactive role.

Now, internal security establishment of the ministry would be camping in various states to assist the state in their operations. The decision comes close on the heels of the ministry deciding to have a separate wing within the ministry to exclusively deal with Naxalism.

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