The Centre will explore the possibility of getting four Naxal-affected states to set up a specialised commando to deal with Naxalites patterned on the Grey Hounds of Andhra Pradesh Police.
Andhra's Grey Hounds are seen as the most successful initiative by any state government in dealing with Maoists from the security perspective and have been credited with keeping the Naxals on the run in the state. Officials at the Union home ministry said this would be one of the issues to be flagged by the Centre at the meeting of chief ministers to discuss internal security challenges on Thursday.
There is an overwhelming view at the Centre that one reason why the naxals had made peace overtures when the Congress government came to power a few years ago was due to intense pressure that the specialised commando force had put them under. In fact, officials hinted that the home ministry was also considering imparting specialised training to some battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force - the primary central force tasked with internal security duties - to fight naxals. "The CRPF has certainly does a good job… more specialised training on the lines of Grey Hounds would definitely make it more effective," an official said, pointing that the key to the success of the commando force was continuous training.
This is something that state police forces can hardly afford for the regular force, not with poor staffing patterns and the kind of vacancies that exist. In any case, the home ministry is also expected to highlight the importance of filling up the vacancies at the conference.