Local police didn’t favour anti-Naxal ops in South Bastar
Raipur: The local intelligence wing had suggested not to carry out large anti-Naxal operations in south Bastar forests, where the ultras recently killed 14 CRPF personnel, citing geographical complications and strong Maoist ‘Jantana Sarkar’ network, a senior police official said.
Forces to adopt Maoist tactics?
Security forces may take a leaf from Maoists’ combat tactic by launching guerrilla warfare against Left-wing extremism in jungles of Chhattisgarh’s conflict zone of Bastar, if current deliberations in the Central Committee set up by ministry of home affairs (MHA) to evolve a fresh counter-insurgency policy in the wake of December 1 massacre of 14 CRPF troopers in Sukma Naxal ambush, are any indication. Chhattisgarh additional director general (ADG) of police (Naxal operation) R.K.Vij, one of the constituents of the three-member committee, has made eight-point recommendations for incorporation in the proposed counter-insurgency policy, sources close to him told this newspaper here on Saturday.
“Guerrilla warfare should be the fulcrum of the counter-insurgency to make it effective and result oriented. Guerrilla warfare should replace combing operations by security forces”, one of the major recommendations from Chhattisgarh police has suggested. “It is time security forces turned to guerrilla warfare since there has of late been a marked improvement in intelligence network in Maoist-strongholds.” “Of course, there is still room for improvement in intelligence network in remote Bastar region”, a security expert told this newspaper here. He attributed success of Naga Battalion deployed in counter-insurgency in Bastar half-a-decade ago to their expertise in guerrilla warfare.
“Combing operations involved large scale troop movement in the red zone risking lives of security forces. Besides, the size of search parties should be trimmed down to reduce it to 25-30, doing away with the current strategy of deploying a jumbo force comprising 200- 500 jawans for the purpose”, another recommendation suggested.
Anti-Naxal ops: Additional 11,000 securitymen for Bastar
New Delhi: Government has decided to deploy an additional 11,000 paramilitary men for undertaking anti- Naxal operations in the worst Maoist-affected Bastar division of Chhattisgarh where red ultras recently carried out a deadly ambush and killed 14 CRPF personnel. With the induction of these 11 new battalions, 10 of CRPF and one of Border Security Force, the southern most part of the central Indian state will have the maximum number of security forces’ present in a given divisional area.
“The Union Home Ministry has sanctioned deployment of 10 additional battalions of the CRPF and one of the BSF to be inducted for operations in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh which has become the epicentre of major Naxal violence incidents against the state and the security forces off-late,” a senior officer said. Of these 11 battalions, three have already reached the dense jungles and village areas of Bastar division which comprises seven districts. Bastar is strategic to security forces operations against Maoists as it is surrounded by the tri-junction of three other Naxal violence-affected states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. “The entire induction of these 11 battalions is expected to be completed by April next year,” the officer added.
The Bastar region, with districts of Bijapur, Sukma, Dantewada, Bastar, Kondagaon, Narayanpur and Kanker, already has 31 battalions or about 31,000 personnel of these central security forces apart from two special units of the elite CoBRA commandos unit of CRPF. With the addition of 11 more contingents, the officer said, Bastar will have 41 units along with state police squads within an area of 40,000sq km, one of the largest when it comes to the number of security forces in a defined geographical area. While the 10 new CRPF units will be deployed largely in Sukma and Dantewada districts, the lone BSF unit will be inducted in Kanker where the force already has seven battalions. The CRPF, the officer said, is already in the process of de-inducting and subsequently training its battalions working at present in Jammu and Kashmir and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra to fill up the required numbers in Bastar.