Soon, 2000 more commandos from CoBRA battalions will fight Maoists in Sukma

The strategic anti-Maoist operations command headquarters of the CRPF has been shifted from Kolkata to right into the heart of the Maoist-hit state of Chhattisgarh.

A top-level unified command meeting to tackle Naxal terror that took place in Raipur on Friday turned into a blame game between the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Chhattisgarh state police, with the former blaming the latter of not cooperating during Naxal operations.

Officials said that newly appointed CRPF Director General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar had been asked to ensure that the command begins functioning from Raipur before the high-level meeting of Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit states in New Delhi on Monday.

At least 106 districts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are affected by Maoist violence.

In order to assist them, the official said, it has been planned to seek additional flying hours from the Indian Air Force (IAF) to undertake more sorties to aid CoBRA operations.

Kumar, who claimed to have been detained by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), said he ran away from the battalion after fearing threat to his life.

According to officials present in the meeting, which was attended by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Senior Security Advisor (MHA) Vijay Kumar, Chhattisgarh DGP A.N. Upadhyaya and other senior officials of the Home ministry and state police, Raman Singh was personally forced to intervene twice to decrease the anger and the friction between Kumar and Upadhyaya. Twelve CRPF men were killed in Maoist attack in Sukma earlier on March 11.

It comprises eight sectors, 13 ranges, 17 group centres, 83 battalions, eight composite hospitals, 2 central weapons store, two central training colleges, three recruit training centres, a counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism school, 6 ANTS (Anti Naxal Training School) of the CRPF, the country's largest paramilitary with about 3-lakh personnel in its ranks.

  • Leroy Wright