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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Anti-naxal battle gets fiercer and bloodier

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 12, 2013
First Published: 00:32 IST(12/1/2013) | Last Updated: 15:18 IST(12/1/2013)

The battle against the Maoists is going to get fiercer and bloodier.

Determined to get back at Maoists that killed and booby-trapped bodies of CRPF personnel, the home ministry has sent out orders to deploy another 10,000 men in the Maoist heartland within the next two months.

Besides Odisha and Bihar, the new deployment plan will focus on raising presence of security personnel in Jharkhand where 18 CRPF battalions (each battalion has a sanctioned strength of 1,050) have been fighting pitched battles with the Maoists.

The move will push the total number of security personnel in Maoist-infested districts to over 85,000.

"The operations will be intensified. We will take forward the strikes," CRPF director general Pranay Sahay said, referring to the continuing offensive to corner the 100-150 Maoists in Jharkhand's Latehar district.

Nine CRPF and one state police personnel have died in the latest round of encounters as security personnel approached Maoists who controlled the hilltop.

It was a cost the security establishment was ready to pay.

"There will be more casualties on both sides...  It is a battle for survival and preserving their stronghold in these forests," a government source associated with the operations added.

And it isn't going to be restricted to Jharkhand. Home secretary RK Singh - who has a reputation of being a hard administrator - has ordered induction of 10 more battalions (5 CRPF, 3 Sashastra Seema Bal and 2 BSF battalions) into the Maoist heartland.

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