There is no let up in the offensive against the Naxals in the country, especially Chhattisgarh, and those who think the morale of the force is down be warned, CRPF Director General Vikram Srivastava said.
“The operations are continuing as usual and we’ve killed several Naxals in Bijapur and Dantewada (in Bastar) in the past one month,” he told HT.
The operations, however, are largely based on the intelligence collected by the state police.
Allaying apprehensions that the CRPF had taken a backseat in Chhattisgarh after the killing of its 75 personnel by the Maoists in Dantewada on April 6, Srivastava said the central forces were extending all possible support to the state police in carrying out the operations. “We are there to fight a decisive battle,” he said.
Whether the force is prepared to take on the Naxals, he said the CRPF had vast experience of handling internal security problems and the Naxal menace would also be contained effectively. “No one should forget our role in Kashmir and the Northeast,” he reminded.
Besides 50 battalions in the Naxal areas in seven states of India, the CRPF has deployed 70 battalions in Jammu & Kashmir and 40 battalions in the Northeast to fight against the insurgents. The government is also upgrading infrastructural facilities for the forces on the ground after identifying the shortcomings.
The DG informed that the force received an overwhelming 1.13 lakh applications from the Naxal strongholds in seven states. These applicants were considered against 4,400 vacancies and their training has already begun. “The people are fed up with the Naxals and want to join the CRPF to stamp them out,” Srivastava added.
This year, the CRPF planned to raise another eight battalions (8,000 personnel) that would be largely deployed in the Naxal belts.
“Undoubtedly, all Naxal-infested areas would be secured by assisting the state police and a conducive atmosphere created for development programmes,” he added.
Srivastava said the force had created command centres in Delhi and the Naxal-hit states to closely monitor its operations and a separate intelligence wing within the CRPF was being created to assist the forces on the ground for better results.