New Delhi: The government has decided to deploy close to 6,000 additional central security forces personnel for conducting specialised tasks in the anti-Naxal operations grid in Chhattisgarh.
Out of the six new battalions which will be drawn from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), two have already been deployed in the Sukma and Dantewada districts of south Bastar in the state. One battalion comprises about a 1,000 personnel.
According to a new blue-print prepared by the Home Ministry, these personnel will be essentially deployed and used to perform road opening and sanitising duties in these areas.
However, they will also undertake operations if there is a requirement.
The new battalions will aid the operations conducted by other central forces like CRPF, ITBP, BSF and state police forces which have a combined strength of over 32,000 in Chhattisgarh alone.
SSB, which is the designated border guarding force along India`s frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan, was withdrawn from these operations in Chhattisgarh in 2011. It was then guarding camps of the Salwa Judum workers.
"It is essential to sanitise routes taken by security forces and those tracks which are used for other operational and general purposes. While other forces are now dominating their respective areas, the SSB men will do road opening duties in Chhattisgarh," sources in the security establishment said.
The new SSB battalions have been trained by CRPF and also at the jungle warfare school in Kanker. The squads will be using gadgets to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmines which have been a cause of numerous deaths and injuries to security force personnel conducting anti-Maoist operations.