New Delhi: CRPF personnel deployed for long stints in the Naxal hotbed of Sukma in Chhattisgarh are showing signs of fatigue, according to officials.
Home Ministry officials, who visited Chhattisgarh after the massacre of 25 CRPF men by Naxals, have found that the majority of 45,000 paramilitary personnel undertaking the high-risk anti-Naxal operations in Bastar region have been posted there for over three years.
"Fatigue has been noticed in jawans as many of them have been posted in Sukma for last five years even though normally they should be there for three years," an official said, adding that there is decline in motivation due to their long deployment in the area.
Being posted continuously in Bastar is very stressful and the jawans prefer to join counter-insurgency operations elsewhere including in Kashmir, even though they face militant attacks and stone pelting mobs regularly there.
This year, 32 Naxals have been killed so far while the CRPF has lost 38 personnel in Chhattisgarh, the official said.
Anti-Naxal operations take a toll on security personnel as they face guerrilla warfare in hot and humid conditions and treacherous terrain.
The Home Ministry officials indicated that the 100-strong CRPF personnel, who were attacked by the Naxals on Monday, seemed to have not been sufficiently vigilant leading to such high casualties.
The central government has been trying to boost the morale of the forces by providing them necessary infrastructure and logistics for anti-Naxal operations, they said.
As many as 58 mine-protected vehicles are available in Chhattisgarh to the paramilitary forces and 30 are under process for procurement through the Ordnance Factories Board.
42 bullet-proof vehicles are also available and 210 bullet-protected vehicles are under process for procurement, it said.
Around 45,000 central paramilitary personnel and 20,000 state policemen have been deployed in Bastar region, which saw maximum Naxal violence in Chhattisgarh.
As compared to an average of 30 Naxals killed every year, 135 Maoists were neutralised in 2016, three times the number of police personnel who lost their lives.