Army to provide intensive anti-Naxal training to police forces

But it would refrain from getting directly involved in the operations being carried out by the paramilitary forces in Naxal-infested areas, senior officers in the Army headquarters said here today.

They said the Army has been training about 200 companies of state police forces numbering 30,000 personnel and another 25 battalions of the central paramilitary forces consisting of 20,000 troops for anti-Naxal operations at its training centres including one in Panagarh in West Bengal.

"However, there will be intensive, rigorous training that would be given to them," the officers said.They said there is no scope to increase the number of trainees or to compress the training schedule as the syllabus and the time taken to complete the training have been fixed.

"The resources at these training centres are being utilised completely and there is no possibility of increasing the number of trainees or the trainers at the moment. We do not intend to send more senior officers to train the state police or paramilitary forces other than those who are already involved in the task," the officers said.
"The role of the Army is to provide advice, assistance and training to the security forces that are fighting the Maoists. Nothing more is being done by the Army and it is not right to suck the Army into the anti-Naxal operation, which is basically a law and order issue. The state police are capable of handling the situation," the Army officers said.

Apart from training in carrying out operations, ambush and other such fighting skills, the Army is training the state police and paramilitary forces in neutralising Improvised Explosive Devices that the Naxals use.

On the CRPF jawans getting into the Maoist trap in the Dantewada forest yesterday, the officers, who had won gallantry medals for their anti-insurgency operations in both Jammu and Kashmir and in the North-East, said it was a "clear-cut failure of adopting basic military tactics" that led to the large scale killing of the troops.
They said there was also failure on the part of the paramilitary forces to gather intelligence and develop sources among the local populace.

"For the forces to obtain area dominance, there is a need to establish contact with the local population and nurture sources among them," they said.Soon after taking over as the 26th Army Chief, General V K Singh had said since Naxal menace was not a secessionist movement, it was important to assess the implications of committing the Army to fight "citizens".

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