The government has decided to include areas hit by left wing extremism for granting special duty medals to the personnel of central paramilitary forces deployed there.
This follows a letter written by director general of CRPF K Vijay Kumar to cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar, in which he asked for a special left wing extremism medal, as the situation in Naxal affected areas was far more challenging than in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast.
"The officers and men who are continuously at war with Naxals in the interiors deserve appreciation. In this context, we had proposed instituting a special medal for the men working in left wing extremism operations. Presently, we have a special duty medals for the personnel working in Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir."
"As you are aware, left wing extremism operations are much more risky and challenging and, therefore, this medal will be a great boon to improve the morale and functioning of the personnel in Naxal operations," Kumar had written in his letter to the cabinet secretary.
To drive home his point, the CRPF chief also gave a comparative figure of fatalities suffered by security forces in the last three years in Jammu and Kashmir (26), Northeast (11) and Naxal hit areas (242).
The letter was sent to the review group on left wing extremism which examined the proposal.
"It has been decided by the competent authority to continue giving the special duty medal in accordance with the present conditions of eligibility. However, in view of extensive deployment of CRPF, if the list of states or the districts in certain states has to be expanded for award of Police (Aantarik Surksha Seva) medal, that may be considered and done," the note said.
At present there are 13 states affected by Naxalism, a menace described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in various speeches.