Polls delay anti-Maoist offensive in Jharkhand | india | Hindustan Times
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Polls delay anti-Maoist offensive in Jharkhand

india Updated: Oct 30, 2009 00:15 IST
Aloke Tikku
Aloke Tikku
Hindustan Times
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While the Centre will continue the offensive against Maoists in Chhattisgarh along the state’s borders with Maharashtra and Orissa, assembly polls in December have come in the way of a similar operation in Jharkhand.

Over the next 10 days, the government will send in 300 companies (22,500 personnel) of paramilitary forces to Jharkhand. Many of these personnel were recently trained at the army’s jungle warfare training facilities.

Troops will be drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force, Border security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal.

A company of the central forces ordinarily has about 100 personnel, but the effective operational strength of the formation is closer to 75, a home ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, said on Thursday.

This will be in addition to the existing 15,000 central paramilitary personnel already deployed in the state.

Given the extensive deployment of forces for the elections, the Home Ministry official indicated that the full-fledged coordinated operation would have to be deferred in and around Jharkhand.

The five-phase poll in Jharkhand will be held on November 25, December 2, 8, 12 and 18.

During the period leading to the polls, the official said, the central forces would carry out area domination exercises in the state and seek to repulse any action by the Maoists.

“In case of such duties or on the basis of specific intelligence, it is possible that the forces would carry out operations against the Maoists. But the focus of the central forces during elections would not be the same as during the coordinated operation,” he said.