AP declines to share Greyhounds with Chhattisgarh

The Andhra Pradesh government has turned down a request from the Union Home Ministry to deploy AP Greyhounds, elite anti-Maoist force, to operate in the strife-torn parts of Chhattisgarh, especially the Bastar region

The Greyhounds force has  been positioned along the state’s borders with Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. They often venture deep into the jungles of Chhattisgarh targeting the Maoist camps, thanks to their strong counter-Maoist intelligence network across the borders.

AP Director-General of Police Dinesh Reddy is said to have informed the ministry that the state was ready to share intelligence inputs on the movements of the Maoists, but cannot share the forces.  

“In fact, we have been redeploying our forces in Karimnagar and Khammam borders and alongside the thick forests adjoining Chhattisgarh where the presence of the Maoists are   said to be in good numbers,” he said.

The Greyhounds was launched in early 1989 by the then Telugu Desam Party chief minister N T Rama Rao, when the Maoists killed some top landlords in Prakasam district, and its training programme was conceived by a  career IPS Officer K S Vyas, who was brutally shot dead years later.

Today, Greyhounds has two battalions of 2,000 fighters functioning out of its bases in Bhadrachalam, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati. As of now, about 450 personnel from different parts of the country and Nepal are undergoing training at the Greyhounds training academy at Himayatsagar.

Training

Since 2000, a total of 1,300 policemen from Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal have been trained in counter-Maoist operations at the academy. A 320-strong Nepal Police force, too, underwent training last year.  

They are fully equipped with life-supporting food and medicine besides communication and sophisticated arms. The Greyhounds is also supported by a helicopter command for rescue and emergency operations in the jungles.

Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the Darbha ghat Maoist ambush is pointing towards the alleged collusion of a few local Congress leaders and workers in Chhattisgarh.

A preliminary report of the NIA sent to the Home Ministry said four of them, two in the convoy and two others at Parivartan Yatra's last location in Sukma, had been informing Maoist leaders about the convoy’s movement.

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