'Anti-Naxal offensive to be intelligence-based'

'Anti-Naxal offensive to be intelligence-based'

Left violence: Sensitivity needed in forces

Speaking at the 44th Raising Day celebrations of the Border Security Force here, Chidambaram said: “I expect the BSF to hone the skills and tactics that were developed by it during the anti-militancy and counter-insurgency operations and adopt to the new conditions that they will face in the Naxal-affected areas.

“In these areas, operations have to be intelligence-based and (security forces) have to secure the support of the community and people living in those areas,” the home minister said. The security forces have to show great sensitivity and maturity in conducting operations in left-wing extremism hit areas.

Hinting at the infiltration bids from across Pakistan, Chidambaram said though the force was doing a good job, one cannot afford to reduce the level of vigil and alertness. “On the Western front, we have a neighbour whose designs are too well known. The BSF is a premier border guarding force of that frontier to keep out infiltrators and terrorists. On the Eastern front, the task is even more arduous, the jungles and mountains and the poor connectivity and a rather porous border... the BSF has to contain infiltration, smuggling and other activities.”

He had urged the state governments to be “prompt” and “generous” in allocating and acquiring lands for the central paramilitary forces. The minister acknowledged that the BSF troops have to brave the hostile terrain and face social isolation as they are posted in far-flung areas. They  guard a total of 6,623 km of the Indo-Pak (western side) and Indo-Bangla (eastern side) sides of the border.

BSF Director-General Raman Srivastava said the force is modernising its equipment and procuring early warning devices for better border management and security.

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