Anti-naxal ops: CRPF wants new NTRO, chopper bases

CRPF is set to intensify its operations in the naxal corridor with the creation of two new bases for NTRO and helicopters in south Chhattisgarh, close to the Maoist hotbed of Dantewada.

Updated: Feb 05, 2012, 15:09 PM IST

New Delhi: CRPF is set to intensify its
operations in the naxal corridor with the creation of two new
bases for NTRO and helicopters in south Chhattisgarh, close to
the Maoist hotbed of Dantewada.

The force, which has deployed more than 70,000 troops for
anti-naxal operations in various states, is now planning a
large offencive in the dense forests of Abujhmad, a region
extending from South Bastar (Dantewada) in Chhattisgarh to
Gadchiroli in Maharashtra.

This region has been beyond the reach of local police and
administration for years.

According to top sources, the CRPF now wants a centre of
the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) in
Jagdalpur district to gather technical intelligence about the
naxal movement in the "most challenging" Dantewada district
and borders of the state with Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra
Pradesh which are notorious for naxal ambushes.

The NTRO facility in this district will also help the
operations of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which are
expected to give the security forces better surveillance of
the jungle terrain and Maoist hideouts.

The force also wants to shift the Mi-17 helicopters base
from state capital Raipur to Jagdalpur as the choppers will be
able to carry out sorties quicker in these areas for casualty
evacuation and troop reinforcement.

The new plans are now awaiting the approval of the Home
Ministry. Home Minister P Chidambaram was briefed recently
about the CRPF`s plans.

Out of the four IAF Mi-17 choppers in Chhattisgarh, two
are located at Raipur and the CRPF now wants them to
supplement the two-chopper fleet based at Jagdalpur.

Among its larger plans in the anti-naxal combat theatre,
the Central Reserve Police Force also wants a 700-acre land in
Abujhmad area from the state government to create a jungle
warfare college to train its troops and CoBRA commandos.

The force, in order to equip its men with communication
facilities deep inside jungles in Naxal-hit areas, has also
got approval from the Union Home Ministry to provide more than
350 satellite phones to its personnel.

"The satellite phones will help patrol parties and
commanders to keep in touch with the command centre. Any
emergency situation can be shared on a real-time basis," a
senior CRPF officer deployed in Chhattisgarh said.

The force has also begun a new operational exercise in
Dantewada jungles after they were trained in stealth
techniques by the elite trainers of the National Security
Guard.

PTI