The CRPF jawans fighting the left-wing extremists face the challenges of lack of basic food items and water while operating on the ground, a top official of the specialised anti-Naxal unit of the force has said.
In an article in the CRPF's in-house magazine 'CRPF Samachar' Inspector General (Special Action Force) Ashutosh Shukla said the challenges being faced by the troops on the ground include "long distance walking, adverse terrain condition -- high humidity, hot climate, lack of availability of basic food articles, lack of water, availability of mosquitoes, deep jungles, absence of roads or tracks."
Other challenges identified by him include Naxal sympathisers, threat to contractors, government servants and development funds being grabbed by the Maoists and difficulties in operating through inter-state borders.
The CRPF, which is the main paramilitary force fighting the Naxals, have received some serious setbacks in the recent past. On Tuesday, 27 CRPF personnel were killed in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh by the Naxals.
On April six, the CRPF lost 75 personnel in a Naxal attack. "The iron ore mines and easy availability of explosives and detonators in plenty for the industrial cause in the area have also contributed in favour of the Naxal cadres who are able to carry out the IED blasts against security forces which has become a major threat and major contributor towards loss of valuable human lives of troops as well as innocent human lives," the article said.
The SAF, erstwhile Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, was created by the central government in the pattern of Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh to deal with Naxal menace.
Shukla, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, said in the article in the special Dantewada issue of the magazine that "the environment has been created to conduct the anti-Naxal operations in full swing.
During September 2009, the troops of 201 Battalion SAF could successfully launch operations in the so-called liberated zone of Maoists. "It is expected the achievements of the SAF troops will further enhance once troops are fully settled and institutionalised system of sharing of intelligence is put in place," he wrote.