Putting its best foot forward to keep the Maoists under check, Union home ministry has decided to place Chhattisgarh and more specifically its worst-affected Bastar division at the heart of the anti-Maoist offensive.
As part of the strategy to deal with Maoists, the Centre would initiate unified psychological-war policy, district reserve police for strengthening the Superintendent of Police level officers, posting officers from army, central paramilitary and other states with experience in anti-Maoists operations and more boots on ground to fill security vacuum especially in Bastar, sources told HT.
When Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh met Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, the state government in its presentation said though the Maoists are active in Bastar since early 70s, it has now emerged as the epicentre of left wing extremism. The current phase of heightened activities in Bastar started almost 14 years ago.
“The Centre, which had already decided to deploy around 10,000 more paramilitary men, told the CM that it is ready to increase boots on ground but the state will also need to focus its energy on containing rebels,” said an MHA official requesting anonymity.
The state told the Centre it required 26 more battalions (around 26,000 security men) in the first phase for filling up security vacuums.
“The state and the Centre were in agreement over deployment of more central forces along the inter-border to check easy movement of Maoists from one state to another. Bastar is surrounded by three states — Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh,” said the official.