SOP for anti-Maoist operations sought

 Even as the controversy surrounding the Bijapur encounter refuses to die down, top officials in the Union and state home ministries have decided to meet on Friday to formulate standard operating procedure (SOP) for conducting operations against the Maoists.

At the meeting which will be chaired by Special Secretary, Internal Security, Ajay Chadha, the ministry will request the states to give practical ideas on conducting operations in trying conditions of naxal affected areas of nine states. The DGPs of the states and paramilitary officers will also attend the vital meeting that will be held at North Block in the morning.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo had on Wednesday criticised the security establishment by stating that 17 of the 19 slain by the CRPF and state police were unarmed and innocent.

Ministry sources said that they would encourage state police and paramilitary forces, including the CRPF and BSF, to come up with suggestions on conducting of operations given the fact that tribal villagers get in the line of fire merely because they are similar in outlook to the armed rebels.

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