Wednesday, October 25, 2006

CRPF apprehensive of intensification of attacks by Naxals

CRPF apprehensive of intensification of attacks by Naxals

New Delhi, Oct 25: The CRPF expressed fears of possible intensification of attacks by Naxals in Andhra Pradesh and its adjoining states amidst reports that some rocket shells seized by security forces there have found their way to Left-wing extremist groups.

"Though 800-odd rockets had been seized by the police forces of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, there is a credible information that some of the rockets have already reached the Left-wing extremist and this is definitely a cause of worry for us," CRPF Director General Jyothi Kumar Sinha told reporters ahead of 67th raising day function being held on October 28.

In a joint operation, the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh police seized 875 rocket launchers and other ammunitions from different places in Mahabubnagar and Prakasam districts.

Sinha said though a husband-wife duo had been arrested, there was information that several rocket shells had already been smuggled to Naxals.

"The Naxals have only to fill in explosive material in these shells and use them against the security forces," he said, adding that precautionary measures have already been taken.

Brushing aside criticisms against the anti-Naxal 'Salwa Judum' movement in Chattisgarh, the Director General said such movements needed support from the Government as it was the people's voice against left-wing extremism.

"One should not think of scrapping the movement. If this movement is scrapped, people will never come forward and extend such wholehearted support," he said.

For the tribals involved in the movement, it would be either a meek surrender before the Naxal groups or fall prey to their bullets if the Government decides to withdraw support to the Salwa Judum movement, Sinha said.

The CRPF chief was responding to a question about the recommendations made by the Tribal Affairs Ministry to scrap the movement.

"In turn, we should be at the forefront of the movement which has seen a large number of tribals coming together on one platform against Naxals especially in the worst-hit Dantewada district of Chattisgarh," he said.

He said that with the expansion of CRPF role in counter-insurgency operations, the para-military forces had already operationalised a dedicated intelligence apparatus.

"We faced difficulties in getting intelligence inputs from various insurgency-hit states. Therefore, the CRPF decided to put in place its own intelligence wing as a "pro-active strategy" to minimise casualties and dependence on the state machinery," he said.

CRPF is fighting left-wing extremism in states like Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh and countering insurgency in several north-eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir.

It was given the task of tackling counter-insurgency following recommendations by the Subramanyam Committee, which went into the lapses of Kargil war.

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