Monday, November 2, 2009

Govt. should raise a special anti-naxal force

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Although Naxalims has become the biggest internal security threat to the country the law enforcement agencies don't seem to be doing enough to curb their menace. Naxals are being fought on an disorganised platform with the various state police and the Central Reserve Police Force engaged in countering the Left. Although the special forces like the COBRA and Grey Hound have been able to deliver blows to the Naxals but the threat still looms over the Red Corridor.

Most of the attacks that the Naxals carry out are in the inter-state border, be it the Bengal-Orissa-Jharkhand border or the Chattisgarh-Maharashtra border. The Naxals take advantage of the fact that there is very less co-ordination between different state polices and at times even the area of jurisdiction isn't known clearly to the security forces. It is known fact that different law enforcement agencies are not known to function best in collaboration with each other. The Unified Command structure in North East and the Army-BSF structure in J&K never yielded much results.

On the other hand the raising of Rashtriya Rifles to counter terrorism in J&K and ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) to protect the China border has been a success. So the question is should the government raise a special force to counter Naxalism? Considering the gravity of the situation this seems to be the most logical call. Instead of raising more battalions of the CRPF, the Centre should contemplate raising a special force. This can be a very small forces as compared to the CRPF but it can be well trained.

All combat situations are different and battle grounds challenging. A force raised specially for this kind of combat and trained in guerilla warfare is a better solution that pushing the CRPF which is mainly trained to assist the state police and take care of the law and order problems. A central force with its own command structure spread across the Naxal infested states will ensure better coordination and intelligence sharing.

Centre needs to play a more commanding role in dealing with the problem. Different states should not be left to play politics with the issue and fight the Naxals with their own choice of intensity. The problem is a national one and it is hight time this is dealt with iron fist on one hand and with development on the other. Raising of Central Force to deal with the Naxals is an urgent call which the centre needs to address.


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