22 Jun 2010
NEW DELHI: As the government continues to weigh options of fighting naxalism more effectively, Army has offered to send Colonel-rank officers to the Home Ministry on deputation for advise in anti-Maoist operations.
The army has sent a proposal in this regard to the Defence Ministry, army sources said.
“We have offered to depute Colonel-rank officers with experience of commanding battalions in counter-insurgency operations to provide advise in anti-naxal operations,” a source said.
The number of officers to be sent to the Home Ministry has not yet been decided.
The government has to decide how and where it would want to use these officers, they said.
Experience of these officers in battling terrorism and insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East will help the states plan anti-naxal operations more effectively, the sources said.
Some naxal-affected states have been requesting Army for services of senior officers with experience in counter-insurgency operations, they said.
The move comes at a time when the government is weighing various options of dealing with naxalism more effectively.
The Home Ministry is looking for an enhanced role of armed forces in anti-naxal operations. The Defence Ministry is hesistant to get involved in it although it is not averse to providing some kind of logistical support.
The Home Ministry has sought Army’s help in defusing IEDs and demining the naxal-infested territory.
It has also asked the IAF to provide helicopters for quick deployment and evacuation of paramilitary forces during anti-Naxal operations that may be carried out in inaccessible areas.
The proposal is currently before the Cabinet Committee on Security, which is yet to take a final view.
IAF has suggested to the Defence Ministry that its 15 helicopters deployed in the UN missions in African countries may be called to meet the shortage of choppers.