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Sukma attack aftermath: Govt to beef up intelligence in 35 Naxal-hit districts

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-05-2017 Shaswati Das

New Delhi: Two weeks after the attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, the Union home ministry has cracked into action to beef up its intelligence apparatus in the 35 districts of India affected by Left-wing extremism (LWE).

While security advisor to the home ministry K. Vijay Kumar and additional director general of the CRPF Sudeep Lakhtakia submitted their spot report on the 25 April attack from Sukma’s Burkapal area to the MHA, the home ministry has now drafted an action plan to act on possible intelligence gaps that have led to such attacks.

“From the point of view of Intelligence, there is a need to depute shadow intelligence officers to trace the prominent targets associated with Naxalism. There is a need to establish specific procedures between state central forces for the exchange and use of intelligence,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.

The CRPF has also set the ball rolling on deploying nearly 2,500 commandos of its intelligence unit in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region. Senior home ministry officials stated that the paramilitary force has drafted a proposal to move nearly 25 companies of the CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) from their present locations in West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh to Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, especially areas where road construction and infrastructure projects are underway.

According to CRPF documents accessed by Mint, the Naxals’ method of attack, known as the Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign, is aimed at inflicting maximum damage to security forces between the months of January and June, a modus operandi that the home ministry hopes to break with its new strategy.

“The CoBRA unit does operations based only on actionable intelligence inputs and has been raised as a team of highly-trained commandos trained to neutralise the enemy and destroy their hideouts with minimal collateral damage. They conduct combing operations in a skilled manner so as to inflict great damage on Naxal hideouts in the region,” said a senior home ministry official, on the condition of anonymity.

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