The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has expressed a desire to withdraw from all interior locations of the worst-hit Naxal area of Bastar in Chattisgarh, a move opposed by the state police.
Official sources, who referred to this wish by CRPF, said the para-military force has also approached Chhattisgarh Police to provide security to its camps at Narayanpur where 27 security personnel were killed in a Naxal ambush recently.
Immediately after the attack, senior CRPF officials were up in arms and said they would be abandoning the post at Durai road if the state police did not guard the two camps in the area, about 300 km from Raipur.
Around 50 police personnel each were rushed to these two camps, a move which was seen as "strengthening of the camps."
At least 26 CRPF personnel and one state policeman were killed by Maoists on June 29 when they were returning from road opening duties.
The CRPF has also listed four places in Narayanpur and Dantewada from where they would be shifting their base, the sources said, adding initially the para-military forces wanted to shift their camps closer to the National Highways, which was, however, objected to by the state police.
The CRPF has demanded presence of one-third of district police in every operation and for road opening party. A meeting between the state authorities and the CRPF witnessed heated arguments over the issue and it was decided that road opening duty was exclusively of CRPF domain and there would be no local presence, the sources said.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has also indicated that the CRPF in Chattishargh needs to be relocated and reconfigured. Taking a cue from this, the CRPF has decided to keep a minimum strength of 200 personnel in each camp.
About the rescue and relief on the June 29 killings, the sources said the state authorities pointed out that no help was received from the two camps which were located within five kilometres of the area. The first rescue team came from a CRPF camp located nine kilometres away.