All big anti-Naxal ops to be cleared by force HQs: CRPF DG

All big anti-Naxal ops to be cleared by force HQs: CRPF DG

All big anti-Naxal ops to be cleared by force HQs: CRPF DG

All big operations in Left wing extremism-hit states, which require large-scale mobilisation of security forces, will be cleared after approvals from the CRPF headquarters, the new chief of the country's lead anti-Naxal operations force said.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Prakash Mishra has taken the decision to monitor first-hand important security forces offensives in the Naxal grid after he recently toured some of the worst Maoist violence affected states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

The decision of the new CRPF boss is also understood to have been made in the wake of the December 1 encounter in Sukma in Chhattisgarh where 14 force personnel were killed during an operation where a large contingent of over 2,000 personnel of joint security forces were mobilised to strike the red ultras.

"The large operations will be okayed by the headquarters here. I, including my operations team, will be involved with the ground operations during the planning and execution stages," Mishra, who took over the reins of the country's largest paramilitary less than a month ago, told PTI.

When asked if this "vetting" from the headquarters would lead to some crucial time-loss in launching operations, the DG said that with the advent of modern gadgets and tools, all such exercises can be followed on a virtually real-time basis.

"I don't think there would be any time-loss. In this age we have communication gadgets and other devices where we can plan and execute things in a quick span of time or to say on a real-time basis," he said.

The top brass of the force, at present, is informed about all large and important operations being undertaken by force commanders on ground but it is understood that after this decision, the central command of the force will play a more active role.

The DG said large operations, with big number of troops on ground, leads to larger visibility of the force personnel in the operations area thereby making them vulnerable to be spotted and identified. Hence, before embarking on such exercises, the CRPF headquarters will decide on the merits and requirements for launching such offensives, the DG said.

He said the thrust areas for the force, with close to 1 lakh personnel deployed for this task, remain the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

The DG, while talking about his priorities, said his endeavour is to minimise as much causalities as possible and even go to a stage where there is zero-casualty of his men in anti-Maoist operations.

He said the force is also undertaking re-organisation of some its units in Odisha and battalions will be withdrawn from less Naxal violence affected areas to the more affected ones in the state.

"We will do these changes in some other states too as and when required," he said.

Mishra, who took the charge of the about 3-lakh personnel strong force on December 22, said his experiences in combating the red terror in his home state Odisha has been helpful in devising plans for other states.

The 1977-batch IPS officer has earlier served as the Odisha DGP and Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry before he was specially chosen and sent to head CRPF. The new chief is set to tour the other LWE affected states in the coming days.

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