Tuesday, December 25, 2007

35,000-strong force to fight Naxal menace

New Delhi, Dec 24: The Centre has in principle agreed for raising 35 new battalions (around 35,000 personnel) for eight severely affected Naxal states as the Central government plans to deal with the Left wing extremism with an iron hand.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said 35 fresh battalions would be raised for Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The move comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declaring at the Chief Ministers Conference, Left-wing extremism as a "virus", and asking states to "choke" naxal infrastructure and "cripple" their activities through a dedicated force.

The Centre would be bearing bearing 50 per cent cost while another 50 per cent would be provided as loan to the states where the IRB was being raised.

Centre has already sanctioned 26 India Reserve Battalions for 10 Naxal affected states. While six of them were being raised in Andhra Pradesh, four each were being raised in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, three each in Bihar and Jharkhand, two in Maharashtra and one each in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karanataka.

Bureau Report

35,000-strong force to fight Naxal menace
25 Dec 2007, 0147 hrs IST,TNN

NEW DELHI: With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh outlining a tough approach to tackle left-wing extremism and terrorism during the conference of chief ministers last week, the Centre has agreed to recruit over 35,000 personnel under the India Reserve (IR) battalion scheme for deployment in naxal-affected states.

These 35,000 security personnel will be in addition to the 26 such battalions (over 26,000 men) being currently raised by 10 states.

The IR battalions are rai-sed with central assistance where half the cost is met by the home ministry through grant and the remaining through loan.

Sources in the home ministry said an in-principle decision had been taken to raise 35 battalions considering the vacancy of one lakh police personnel in states. It was observed that states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa — which reported relatively higher number of vacancies in the police force — witnessed maximum casualties in naxal violence in the past two years.

As per the earlier sanctioned plan, six IR battalions (over 6,000 personnel) are being raised in Andhra Pra-
desh followed by four in Chhattisgarh, three each in Bihar and Jharkhand, two in Maharashtra and one each in
Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka.

The vacancy position was discussed by chief ministers here on December 20 when they assembled to discuss the internal security situation in the country. It was mentioned during the meeting that the Abujmad area of Chhattisgarh — which is considered a big naxal den — alone would need 10,000 security personnel to weed out red ultras.

Centre to raise 37,000-man force to fight Naxalism
Tuesday December 25 2007 00:46 IST
Manan Kumar

NEW DELHI: In a follow up action to Prime Minister’s war cry of “crippling the hold of Naxalite forces with all the means at our command” Centre has decided to raise 37,000 personnel strong India Reserve battalions for the Naxalism affected states.

The PM had talked about urging the Home Ministry to consider establishing a dedicated trained force at the Centre either as part of an existing force or as a separate one. “Such force would go a long way in assisting States tackle Naxalite groups,” the PM had said.

With 26 IR battalions already under deployment, the new addition will increase the presence of central forces in Naxal states to a whopping 80,000 armed personnel, which in ratio terms would mean almost 7 armed personnel after every single Naxal cadre.

This doesn’t include the state polices’ massive deployment in Naxal areas. The proposal was mooted by the Naxal-affected states at the Chief Ministers meeting on internal security held last week under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Union Home Ministry will help eight main Naxalism affected states raise these 35 battalions on 50 per cent grant and 50 per cent loan basis. “It would take about three years to train them in all aspects, including the guerrilla warfare techniques after which they would be posted in the affected areas of the eight Naxalism affected states.

We also plan to train some of these battalions on the pattern of Grey Hounds of Andhra Pradesh,” said a senior Union Home Ministry official. These battalions will be deployed first in 33 districts which the centre has picked up as the worst affected by Naxalism.

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