Home, Defence ministries differ on anti-naxal strategy
Hours ahead of the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting in New Delhi today, the Home and the Defence ministries are at loggerheads on the anti-Naxal strategy. The Defence Ministry is not in favour of deployment of special operations soldiers.delhi Updated: Jun 10, 2010 17:08 IST
Hours ahead of the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, the Home and the Defence ministries are at loggerheads on the anti-Naxal strategy.
NDTV reported that the Defence Ministry has negated Home Ministry's proposal of deployment of special operations soldiers for Naxal infested areas.
The meeting, to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is expected to debate the pros and cons of using the Army and Air Force in the fight against the Maoists, according to official sources.
The Defence Ministry also opposed Air Force choppers ferrying troops. It was earlier reported that the Defence Ministry is reluctant to use the armed forces for direct combat. However, it is not averse to limited involvement like training of paramilitary personnel and using IAF for transportation, medical evacuation, logistics support and other aid.
Government has been weighing the option of using armed forces against Naxals as 172 civilians and 29 security personnel have been killed by them during the month of May. This included the recent derailment of a passenger train in West Midnapore caused by suspected Maoists, killing 148 passengers.
In April this year, Maoists ambushed and massacred 75 CRPF personnel and one Chattisgarh policeman in the Dantewada forest of Chattisgarh. Chidambaram had recently said he had a "limited mandate" to fight naxals and was looking for a larger mandate, which would be discussed at the CCS.