The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which is undertaking anti-Naxal operations in central India, has offered accommodation and protection to local government functionaries in its camps so that they can carry out development activities "without fear or lack of facility".
CRPF director general K Vijaya Kumar said the force can accomodate ground-level officers in states like Chattisgarh, particularly in Bastar region, which is one of the most backward Naxal-hit areas.
"Many places in Maoist-affected regions don't have facilities for village functionaries like doctors, teachers, health workers and panchayat officials. We are willing to offer space and security to them in our camps, where they can stay and carry out work," Kumar told HT on the sidelines of a conference on improvement of development activities in Naxal-hit areas last week. Kumar told HT on the sidelines of a conference on improvement of development activities in Naxal-hit areas last week.
While most local officials resist posting in these areas, those on duty also do not visit the affected parts regularly, given the sensitivity of the region.
There are 55 CRPF battalions operating in Naxal-hit states, based in 275 camps, apart from ITBP and BSF, Kumar said.
The government, in a twin-strategy approach, has deployed Central paramilitary forces in the region, even as it started providing each of the 60 districts affected by Maoists with block grants of R25 crore and R30 crore for 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively to plug gaps in development under an Integrated Action Plan.
"We cannot win this battle (against Left wing extremism), if villagers are not on our side," home minister P Chidambaram had said. Meanwhile, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh has requested deployment of CRPF to guard construction of PMGSY roads in the interiors parts of Naxal-affected districts.
"We are ready for any activity to maintain law and order in the region. Our personnel patrol along the roads, which is a deterrent for Maoists."