January 11, 2011
New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday reviewed the operational preparedness of the BSF which guards crucial Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Chidambaram along with senior officials of the Home Ministry and BSF spent more than three hours here at the headquarters of the force, where he was given a presentation on its deployment and other operational aspects.
Anti-Maoist operations and coordination with state police and para-military officers of Naxal-affected states were also discussed, sources said.
The Border Security Force has deployed around five battalions (5,000 personnel) for undertaking anti-naxal operations.
Today’s meeting comes against the backdrop of a similar high-level conclave (chaired by Chidambaram) of Directors General and Inspectors General of Operations of states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, and chiefs of paramilitary forces like CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB, yesterday at CRPF headquarters where operational strategies were discussed.
Topics like joint operations in close coordination of forces at inter-state borders and improvement of living conditions of personnel deployed for anti-Naxal operations were also understood to have been discussed, they said.
Maintaining easy and quick serviceability of helicopters for air support for supplementing troops and casualty evacuation were also believed to have been discussed as the air wing in naxal states is under the command of the BSF.
Over 60,000 central paramilitary forces have been assisting the state police forces in these states to undertake counter-Maoist offensives.
Naxal violence has claimed lives of over 10,000 civilians and security personnel in the last five years.
Of the 10,268 casualties between 2005 and May 2010, 2,372 deaths have been reported in 2009 against 1,769 in 2008 and 1,737 in 2007.
The Government has been maintaining that accelerated development and calibrated police action are the two pillars of its anti-Naxal policy.