Government’s war against Maoists faces a blow as CRPF suffers high attrition
Morale of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), tasked with carrying out anti-Maoist operations, seems to have hit an all-time low. The paramilitary force has witnessed shockingly high levels of attrition in last few years in a major blow to the government’s war against the rebels.
Extended working hours, scant vacation days and long periods spent in the jungles hunting down the ultras have taken their toll on the force. Alarm bells have started ringing in North Block with as many as 13,658 CRPF personnel leaving the job between 2009 and 2012. While the number of personnel seeking alternative avenues has come down in other central paramilitary forces (CPMF) like the Border Security Force and the Indo Tibetan Border Police, the upward trend of premature retirement in the CRPF has left the home ministry worried.
In 2012 alone, 4,876 CRPF personnel gave up their jobs – a huge increase from the previous two years, when the numbers remained below 3,000. The ‘exodus’ has become a major source of concern as it can have a direct bearing on anti- Maoist operations. Sources said a major reason for the high attrition rate in the CRPF is the ongoing fight against Maoists. ”
In the last four years, we have been more aggressive against the Naxals. Continuous operations have been launched. We have got success but also suffered losses in the process. Perhaps this could be one reason for people opting out,” a CRPF officer said. Over the last few years, there have been major encounters with Maoists where the CRPF lost its men in big numbers. The attacks in Dantewada (Chhattisgarh), Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) and, more recently, Latehar ( Jharkhand) where the force suffered heavy losses have left deep scars on the psyche of its personnel.
Former officers who have been part of the paramilitary forces feel CRPF’s expansion over the years has not kept pace with infrastructural demands. ” No proper accommodation, no mobile connectivity even access to basic supplies can be tough. There are no peace postings, all this can take a toll on the rank and file,” said former BSF director general Prakash Singh. Singh said the lack of good leadership and ability to inspire jawans had also been a dampener for the force.
“Whether North- East, Jammu and Kashmir or Naxal-hit states, the jawans are moved around frequently to hazardous surroundings,” a CRPF officer said. Dr Sameer Malhotra, head of psychiatry at Max Healtcare, said: ” In any organisation, attrition rate depends on the quality of life. Whether the actual conditions one is facing are able to match the aspirations. If one does not get rewards for the effort and risk, the attrition rate is likely to be high.”
In an attempt to ensure that CRPF jawans don’t leave the force, the home ministry has decided a strategy of recruiting men mainly from Naxal affected states. The home ministry had commissioned a study last year to look into the reasons for premature retirements in paramilitary forces. The findings of the study revealed that lack of sleep, manpower crunch, no leaves and lack of motivation were among some of the reasons responsible for personnel quitting their jobs.
Chikmagalur: ANF exchanges fire with naxals – constable injured
Chikmagalur, May 16: A gang of naxals was sighted on Wednesday May 15 morning in Kere gram panchayat limits near Sringeri in the district. A member of the Anti Naxal Force (ANF) was engaged in an exchange of fire with the naxal unit.
An ANF constable suffered injury in the gun battle. He has been identified as Girish. Girish was provided first aid at the government hospital in Sringeri before being moved to Manipal Hospital. Reportedly, the gang of four naxals visited the house of a farmer in Muduba village at around 8 pm on Tuesday, collected some cereals from the family, and left at about 1 am on Wednesday.
The ANF personnel, who gathered information about the naxal movement, began search operation within Kere gram panchayat limits on Wednesday morning. A gang of eight naxals confronted the jeep-borne ANF contingent near Heggane Estate and began firing at them. The ANF personnel retaliated.
The exchange of fire continued for about half an hour, after which the naxals disappeared into the thick forests, sources said. Alerted by the incident, the local policemen along with ANF members have begun a combing operation in the area, which falls on the border of the district with Dakshina Kannada. Vehicles moving about in the area also being checked, as the naxals have given an indication that they have again been active in the district after a protracted lull.
Three BSF camps set up in Odisha
Malkangiri (Odisha): In a bid to intensify anti-Maoist operation in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, three new BSF camps were set up in Kalimela area, police said today. With the establishment of three new camps yesterday at Bhenjagwada, Gumphakonda and Chintalwada of Kalimela area, the total number of BSF camps in the district increased to 23, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh said.
Describing Kalimela area as one of the core areas of Maoists, he said the new BSF camps would play a significant role in strengthening the battle against the ultras. The opening of the new BSF camps came close on the heels of the visit of Director General of Police (DGP), Prakash Mishra to Malkangiri earlier this month during which he had assessed the ongoing anti-naxal operation.
It was extremely necessary to strengthen security and enhance presence of jawans in the area as the naxals have been trying to bring the entire region under their complete control, a senior police official said. Since the entire area is covered with dense forest and full of hilly terrains, more number of security personnel would be of immense help in stepping up the fight against the red rebels, he said. About 100 jawans would be stationed at each of the newly established BSF camps for conducting anti-Maoist operation, the SP said.
Options before the security forces were limited earlier and the BSF personnel based in Kalimela camp had to be engaged for anti-naxal operation, police said, adding now there would be considerable flexibility in their job. Kalimela area witnessed a spurt in the activities of Maoists since March this year marked by gunbattles between the ultras and security personnel. Besides, women sympathisers of the naxals had organised a rally in the area earlier this month, sources said. PTI
Additional force deployed in border areas Udhagamandalam,
May 16 (PTI) Security has been beefed up in checkposts and six police station limits in the areas of the district bordering Kerala and Karnataka following rumours about naxalite movement in Kerala.
Armed men from Rapid Action Force were deployed in areas under Nelakottai, Devala, Ambalamula, Cherampadi, Erumadi and New Hope police stations limits, coming under Masanagudi and extra alert sounded in Cherampadi and Kakkanalla checkposts, to prevent the possible infiltration of Naxals, police said today.
Hardcore Maoist nabbed in Odisha
Baripada: A hardcore Maoist was arrested from Bhatachhatar forest in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district. “The maoist identified as Gobardhan Sing alias Muna (28) was arrested on charges of extortion in Bhatachhatar forest area under Moroda police limit last evening,” Mayurbhanj SP Nikhil kumar Kanodia told reporters here.
Kanodia said Gobardhan who hailed from Bramhanamora village joined the outfit as cadre and undertook arms training for one month at Ghatkalimaskisha in Jharkhand state along with six Bengali maoists. Gobardhan was also involved in an act of extortion at Bhendidihi in Gopiballavpur police station in West Bengal during 2012. Following a raid by Morada OIC Rashmi Ranjan Das he was caught while two other escaped under Bhatchhatar forest cover, the SP said.
Maoist leader Paresh Da’s wife in police net
GUWAHATI: Police in Assam arrested two Maoist leaders Kavita Rabha and her brother Pradip Rabha. Kavita is wife of CPI (Maoist) central committee member and prime leader in charge of north-east India, Anukul Chandra Naskar alias Paresh Da. Paresh Da was arrested last week.
Inspector General of Police (Central Western Region) L.R. Bishnoi said that Kavita 31 years had earlier gone to Kolkata with Paresh Da. “She was basically looking after the publicity of the outfit and was associated in preparation of literature of the outfit.” Naskar, aged 65 years, hails from Balia village in West Bengal’s 24 South Paraganas district. He became the central committee member in 1985.