Chhattisgarh seeks 23 battalions from Centre
Stung by lethal attacks by Naxals in the state, Chhattisgarh government today sought 23 battalions of Central forces to meet the challenge posed by the Maoists, who are developing their battalions on the lines of the Army.delhi Updated: May 19, 2010 19:18 IST
Stung by lethal attacks by Naxals in the state, Chhattisgarh government today sought 23 battalions (nearly 23,000 personnel) of Central forces to meet the challenge posed by the Maoists, who are developing their battalions on the lines of the Army.
In a presentation before the Planning Commission, the state government officials said they want to increase the force strength to counter the growing presence of Left Wing Extremists in the state, which presently has 12,000 armed cadre.
The officials also sought assistance to raise nearly 16 battalions (approximately 16,000 personnel) of the state force to counter the Naxals, who have also been targeting infrastructure projects like telecom towers and railway tracks.
The state has more than doubled it police force from 22,000 to 46,000 in the last six years following a surge in the ultra's activities.
The officials said there was striking change in the tactics by the Maoists, who are now "graduating" from traditional guerrilla warfare to mobile warfare, in which they encircle and attack the enemy using various manoeuvres.
Out of the 12,000 strong cadre of Left Wing Extremists, just 962 arrests have been made in the state so far.
"The Maoists have already formed military companies and are now attempting to raise battalions, which is a matter of concern," official sources said.
In the last 10 years, 665 police personnels and Special Police Officers have lost their lives in counter-Maoist operations as against 272 Naxals who were killed during the encounters. More than 1,000 civilians have also died during the period.
Chhattisgarh is one of the worst Naxal-affected states, where, within a span of one month, two deadly attacks carried out by the ultras claimed the lives of 75 CRPF personnel and 12 Special Police Officers in Dantewada.
First Published: May 19, 2010 19:16 IST