Getting serious over tackling the Naxal menace, the Centre will allow raising thirteen new armed police battalions, including one comprising mostly tribals from the worst Maoist-hit districts.
Of the 12 battalions, four will be raised in Chhattisgarh, three each in Jharkhand and Odisha and two in Maharashtra.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved 12 India Reserve battalions for the Left Wing Extremism affected states.
What’s surprising is that 75 per cent of the posts at constable level will be filled from 27 worst Naxal-hit states and there should be a relaxation in age and educational criteria as considered necessary for recruiting local youths, a Home Ministry official said.
In addition, CRPF has also got the nod for raising a ‘Bastariya’ battalion by recruiting youths from undivided Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. For this battalion, all constables will be recruited from tribal dominated Sukma, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur districts (all parts of undivided Bastar).
The ‘Bastariya’ battalion would help address local unemployment issue, provide tactical advantage to CRPF in operations, intelligence collection and language benefits.
In another chilling reminder of the costs of the festering Naxal insurgency, at least 10 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandos belonging to the elite COBRA unit were killed and five others injured on Monday when Naxals targeted them with an improvised-explosive device (IED).
The attack comes months after Naxals killed seven CRPF men in Chhattisgarh with a powerful landmine.