Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Centre to send 600 para military personnel to Jharkhand

NEW DELHI: Worsening Naxal situation has prompted a worried Centre to immediately send across 600 additional para military force personnel to Jharkhand.

It has also assured Chattisgarh more forces in the near future. The decision was arrived at two high-level meetings of senior officials of the two states with the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, in which he accepted Jharkhand’s request to provide additional 2600 strong para-military force on short term basis.

Of these 600 personnel will be sent at once. Patil, however, made clear that the assistance comes with the rider of state’s effort to fill police vacancies without wasting any more time and using para military forces for operational purposes only and not for normal law and order or static duties.

The Union Home Minister was briefed about the situation by the director general of police of both the states that together account for 70 per cent of Naxal violence in the country.

Though Chhattisgarh already has 13 battalions of para-military forces (about 13,000 personnel), the State Government feels that there is need for more to comb dense jungles bordering Orissa and Andhra Pradesh and to put brakes on Naxal violence in the Bijapur and Dantewada that have chosen to be made model districts in the fight against Naxalism.

Patil asked representatives of both the State Governments to strengthen their intelligence wings and ensure optimal and timely utilization of the funds granted under various central schemes.

He commended state police’s efforts for some successful anti-Naxalite operations carried out recently, and emphasized the need to follow a pro-active strategy in both the States

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