M A I N   N E W S

BSF likely to take charge in Naxal heart
Man Mohan
Our Roving Editor

Raipur, July 5
The Centre is thinking of using Border Security Force (BSF) in specific special operations against Maoists in view of CRPF men getting hit again and again by Red rebels in Chhattisgarh.

Compared to the CRPF, the BSF is far more experienced in counter-terrorism and jungle warfare. The BSF that is deployed in Kashmir and northeastern states, is also better equipped to counter Maoists, who have now graduated from guerilla tactics to military warfare.

A clear hint that the BSF is likely to be given responsibilities to fight Maoists was available today when Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai visited a BSF camp in Kanker. Pillai also visited BSF’s Bhanupratapur camp to meet officers and jawans.

The Centre has also stationed a battalion of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, another highly motivated fighting machine, in the Bastar region.

Sources said that in new redeployment plan, the Central paramilitary forces - the CRPF and the ITBP - may be asked to work under tactical guidance of the BSF.

Within the BSF, there are some reservations about getting involved in the internal law and order situations.

For quick response to reinforcements and rescue missions in the eventually of a Maoist attack, it is learnt, the Centre is planning to deploy helicopters at additional points in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

At present, the security forces are using BSF helicopters stationed at Raipur and Ranchi. The BSF fleet consists of three to four Dhruv Advance Light Helicopters and two MI-17 choppers.

Additional helipad sites under survey include Chhattisgarh’s first Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker, and Naryanpur, where 27 security personnel, including 25 of the CRPF, were ambushed and killed by the Maoist recently. A site in Gumla in Jharkhand is also being considered.

Pillai arrived in Chhattisgarh on Sunday night on a two-day visit to take stock of the ‘Red’ threat. Maoist have ‘greeted’ him with a stern warning: “We will kill whosoever murdered our top leader Cherkuri Rajkumar in Andhra Pradesh on Friday.”

On the other hand, Pillai claimed while talking to the local media in Kanker on Monday that “the Naxal menace will be finished completely in three to five years.” He has come to discuss redeployment of Central police forces in view of several deadly Maoist ambush and massacre of the CRPF men, and visit some Maoist-hit areas.

Union Home Secretary Pillai left here for Rajnandgaon early this morning in a helicopter, accompanied by Chhattisgarh’s Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan and state Home Secretary NK Aswal.

In Rajnandgaon (which is one of the worst Naxal-affected district), Pillai met the police and local district officials. Pillai’s visit is being taken as important in view of successive Maoist attacks this year. Among all the Naxal-hit states, Chhattisgarh is considered to be the Maoists’ nerve centre. In southern Bastar, the Maoists have declared the Chintaner areas as their Dandekaran (Red Corridor) state’s capital.

Meanwhile, Naxals have vowed to avenge killing of their leader Azad. “We will take revenge and won’t spare whosoever killed our beloved Azad, who was the brain and spirit of people’s war against the state,” top Maoist leader Kishanji has informed the media. Maoist have declared a two-day bandh on July 7-8.

In view of Naxals’ aggressive attitude, Pillai’s specific movemets are being kept secret. Although it was officially announced that he would arrive here on Monday morning, he reached here on Sunday night by a private airline’s scheduled flight.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |