Chhattisgarh: CRPF to enhance strength, firepower in Maoist-hit Bastar for area domination
The paramilitary force has received a string of fatal setbacks in the region earlier this year.india Updated: Jul 27, 2017 14:46 IST
The CRPF has decided to put more boots on grounds with better firepower to tackle the Maoists in their stronghold of Bastar in Chhattisgarh where federal forces suffered a string of fatal setbacks earlier this year.
“We are going to deploy one more battalion in that area soon while one has just moved in,” Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)‘s director general RR Bhatnagar said on Wednesday in New Delhi on the eve of the 78th Raising Day of the paramilitary force.
A battalion consists of 1,000 personnel.
The new deployment will be in Sukma and Bijapur – two districts in the state’s Bastar division, a Maoist hotbed—for area domination.
The CRPF lost 25 of its personnel in a Maoist ambush in south Sukma region in May this year, serving a chilling reminder of their striking capabilities that was on display in March when the rebels killed 12 troopers of the force. In 2010, Maoists killed 75 CRPF men in the same region.
New camps will be established inside the Abhujmadh jungle areas of these two districts to effectively deal with the red rebels in their strongholds, said CRPF officials.
Abhujhmadh or Madh is at the tri-junction of Chhattishgarh, Mahrashtra and Andhra Pradesh and considered the strongest base of the Maoists.
The CRPF has also decided to replace with the AK series rifles the traditional INSAS weapons used by its personnel to counter Maoist activities spread over 10 states in the country.
“South Bastar remains one of the last Maoist bastions where we have to plan how to reduce their influence,” added Bhatnagar.
The CRPF officials said their troops deployed in the Maoist-hit areas will soon get Ak-47 and AK-56 rifles.
The INSAS has been the standard weapon of the force but faced with a formidable enemy, it now needs quick and heavy fire power, which AK series rifles are capable of providing.
The force is also taking measures to keep its personnel safe by providing them better equipments.
“We are now having close coordination with the state police...the security of our troops in terms of their preparedness, equipments, rations and others, is foremost,” said Bhatnagar.