Special force needed to deal with Maoists, says V Chandra Deo

NEW DELHI: In the aftermath of the Bijapur CRPF encounter, tribal affairs minister V Kishore Chandra Deo has suggested the need to set up a special dedicated force, on the lines of Andhra Pradesh’s elite Greyhound forces, in each Naxal affected state to deal with the situation.

“There is a need for a dedicated force, which will use the local information networks and intelligence, to deal with the Naxal problem. This could reduce the possibility of civilian casualty.

Though this force, say like Andhra Pradesh’s elite greyhound forces, will have to be set up by states, the Centre can co-ordinate. I will raise the matter with the home minister at an appropriate time,” Deo told ET.

The proposal to set up special forces on the lines of the Greyhounds in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra is not new. There was some discussion in 2009, but efforts to develop these special forces did not gather much momentum, and neither were these comparable to the Greyhounds of AP.

The tribal affairs minister stressed this was not the only measure that was required to be taken in the Naxal-affected areas. Deo said ‘this is not a mere law and order problem”.

A much greater focus was needed on aspects like education and health. The tribal affairs minister has urged state governments to pay special attention to ensure that schools in these areas have teachers and mobile medical facilities are available.

The tribal affairs ministry is also providing funds to set up residential schools, on the Eklavya model, in these areas.
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