Bengal prepares for massive anti-Naxal ops, seeks 2 more battalions

The West Bengal government is gearing up to launch full-fledged operations against Maoists and has sought 2,000 additional paramilitary personnel from the Centre.

The state government has requested the Union Home Ministry to urgently dispatch two battalions (around 2,000 personnel) of paramilitary personnel to be deployed in anti-Naxal operations.

Official sources said the communique came on the eve of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee setting a seven-day deadline for Maoists to lay down arms, saying violence would not be tolerated any more.

Interestingly, the Home Ministry had last fortnight had asked West Bengal government to relieve one of the six battalions, sitting idle there, to be sent to Chhattisgarh to be deployed in Naxal-affected areas.

“We welcome the chief minister’s announcement as it reflects the state government’s understanding of the prevailing situation in three Naxal-affected districts – West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura,” an official said.

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