New Delhi: CRPF will desist from undertaking any “Rambo”-style operations in the Naxal-affected areas even as the standard operating procedures in that regard are being rejigged, the chief of the country’s largest paramilitary force has said.
Also, in the Left Wing-Extremism operations theatre, more than one lakh central security troops, apart from state police forces, will now be able to get better feed and intelligence data from technological gadgets as the NTRO’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) base has now been operationalised right inside the Naxal hotbed in Chhattisgarh.
“We don’t need to do Rambo-style operations… we don’t want that. When we ask our boys to perform a task (in Naxal-affected areas), they do it with a prompt sincerity and hence it is our responsibility to see that they are safe,” CRPF Director General Prakash Mishra told PTI.
The former Odisha DGP, who took charge of the lead anti-Naxal operations force a few months back, said that the operations of the force will now be more focused and intelligence-based rather than being done by deploying security personnel in “herds” to effect a Rambo-type offensive that requires a huge number of boots on the ground.
“We believe quality operations with specific intelligence should be the aim. I have already said all large operations where a large mobilisation of forces is required will need to get clearance from the headquarters,” the DG said.
He added that the SOPs in this regard were being “fine-tuned and rejigged”.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) chief, after taking charge of the three-lakh-strong force in December of last year, had made it known that his “top priority” was to ensure fewer or zero casualties involving personnel in anti-Naxal operations.
Mishra had earlier said that such operations, where there are a big number of troops on the ground, leads to larger visibility of personnel in the operation area, thereby making them vulnerable, tired and easier to be spotted and identified.
Close to 100 security personnel were killed in these operations last year with the major cause of death being Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks or ambushes staged either by Naxal or security forces.
The DG, who has toured almost all the major Naxal-violence affected states, said that the new UAV base in Chhattisgarh’s Bhilai was a step in the direction of giving better intelligence and technical aid to the troops on the ground.
The UAVs were till now based in Andhra Pradesh and used to undertake sorties from there under directions of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).
Efforts to get the UAV base located in the Naxal heartland gained momentum after security forces complained about the delay in the help being provided by these machines owing to the distance from their base to the scene of Maoist activity.
Mishra said that anti-Naxal operations in all the states were being conducted keeping in mind the new motto.