The pressure was building up. With the recent beheading of Intelligence Officer in Jharkhand and yesterday’s attack on police party which killed 18 police personnel, Govt. of India has decided to go all out against naxalites. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has finally given the go ahead on the decision to strike the maoist terrorists.
“Full-scale security offensive, coupled with equitable development, will be the guiding principle, while taking the state governments fully on board,” said a top official
The center plans to deploy around 70,000 paramilitary personnel in naxalite infested areas. The forces will take the battle to the hideouts that these militants bank upon as these areas are in deep forests and ravines. Due to the fact that the areas are tough to reach and normal police force is not used to carry out such intricate operations the highly trained personnel of specialized forces like Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), Border Security Police (BSF), Sashatra Surakhsha Bal (SSB) and the elite Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA). While 33,000 security personnel are already deployed in these states, another 37,000 will be drawn from various paramilitary forces soon after the forthcoming assembly elections in the three states. CoBRA is a specialized Anti-Naxal force raised last year to combat naxal problem and has been very effective in areas it has been deployed. While currently its majority composition is that of CRPF personnel the plan is to raise separate battalions through new recruits over a period of three years.
The Indian Air Force will also be involved in the operations but basically for logistic and tactical support like reconnaissance, logistical and casualty evacuation duties. They will deploy there special commando personnel, Garud in helicopters to support the ground forces. The IAF is also planning to deploy its Garud commandos and mount machine guns on its helicopters to protect its aircrew and aircraft.
Paramilitary forces under the home ministry, along with the state police forces, will instead drive the anti-naxal battle. “The aim is to confront the Maoists simultaneously in all affected states to eliminate the menace,” said an official.”Although operations against the ultras are already in motion, they will be stepped up once polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh are over…it will free around 25,000 central paramilitary personnel,” he added.
The operation with have special focus on the red-zone of two tri-junctions of Jharkhand-West Bengal-Orissa and Chhattisgarh-Orissa-Andhra Pradesh to prevent any attempt by the Maoists to sneak from one zone to another. As a senior official explained “the aim is to confront the Maoists simultaneously in all affected states to eliminate the menace”.
Hopefully this will help wipe-out the naxal menace from the India which has blown out as a grave security threat in recent times. The fact that 90 security personnel have lost lives fighting against militants in Jammu & Kashmir while over 270 have been killed by naxals this year, speaks volumes about the threat level.