J'khand CM requests for 275 companies of force

J'khand CM requests for 275 companies of force

Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Monday requested the Centre to depute 275 companies of paramilitary forces to peacefully conduct the upcoming Assembly polls even as he claimed that Naxalism was in its last stage in the state.

Attending a meeting of the chief ministers of the Left Wing Extremism-affected states at Vigyan Bhawan here, he said that since the country's almost 30-40 per cent of minerals are obtained from Jharkhand, there is a possibility that the Naxals could reorganise to strengthen their network.

"Due to the 'clear, hold and develop' policy adopted in the state, there is a greater need of para-military forces in the current circumstances," Das said.

"I request the Centre to depute 275 companies of para-military forces in the state to conduct the upcoming Assembly elections peacefully," he said at the meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs G Krishna Reddy, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and the chief ministers of LWE-affected states.

Das claimed that Naxalism is in its last stage in the state.

"Several top Naxal leaders have surrendered under the popular surrender-and-rehabilitation policy for the Naxalites to join the mainstream," he said.

The chief minister said that there have been 60 per cent decline in the Naxal-related incidents between 2015 and 2019 as compared to 2010-2014.

"There has been a one-third reduction in the number of people losing their lives while the number of Naxals getting killed in an exchange of fire with security forces has doubled," he said.

Between 2015 and 2019, the number of surrendered Naxals has doubled while there has been an increase of 33 per cent in the recovery of arms and ammunition, Das said.

"This year's general elections were historic in the state as there was no Naxal-related violence due to the hard work and presence of paramilitary forces.

"Anti-Naxal operations, which slowed down due to the paramilitary forces' involvement in general elections, have once again picked up the pace," the chief minister said.

The number of bomb disposal squads has been doubled to 12 which would significantly reduce landmine blasts, Das said.

The road has been constructed even in the remote Naxalism-affected areas where development work is being undertaken.

In the last five years, 22,865 km of road has been constructed as compared to 22,248 in the 13 years from 2001 to 2014, Das claimed.

"The paramilitary forces along with the state police are actively tackling the Naxals. There should not be any cut in the number of paramilitary forces stationed in the state in the next two-three years," the chief minister said, adding that the state government is committed to eradicate the menace of Naxalism from the state.

Assembly elections are due to be held in Jharkhand in November-December 2019.