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Anti-Naxal ops: Over 2000 retired Armymen to train CRPF

The improvised explosive devices and hidden landmines have become a reason for worry.



New Delhi: The government has decided to
recruit more than 2000 retired Army personnel to help the CRPF
gain expertise in crippling IEDs and hidden landmines while
undertaking anti-Naxal operations.

The retired Army personnel and officers, including
those from the Sappers regiment who specialise in this job,
will soon be deputed with each of the 62 battalions of the
force deployed for countering Naxals in various states.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the lead
force for the offensive against Naxalites in the country, has
lost more about 150 personnel in various IED and landmine
explosions in the Naxal zones during the last year.

"The improvised explosive devices and hidden landmines
have become a reason for worry amongst the forces operating in
the Naxal-affected regions. The landmines in certain cases
were planted more than 30 feets below the ground which could
not be detected by gadgets or sniffer dogs," a senior CRPF
officer said.

Each of the 62 battalions of the CRPF, including two
of the specialised Commando Battalion for Resolute Action
(CoBRA), will have 35 of these officers each, he said.

As many as 434 retired junior commissioned officers
(JCOs) and 1,736 non-commissioned officers will be inducted
into the force soon and will in turn train the company
commanders of the strike units to detect and defuse these
hidden mines, the officer said.

The ex-Army personnel will also train the CRPF men to
efficiently use equipment that have been procured to detect
IEDs and landmines. "However, these gadgets are hardly of any
use as landmines are planted deep in the earth, beyond the
reach of these equipment," he said.

The officer said the former JCOs and NCOs will
provide expertise to the CRPF units to have the upper hand in
dealing with the IEDs and conduct casualty-free strikes in the
Naxal terrain.

According to Home Ministry figures, a total of 10,268
casualties have been reported between 2005 and May 2010 due to
Naxal violence. Out of these, 2,372 deaths were reported in
2009 as against 1,769 in 2008 and 1,737 in 2007.

A total of 1,999 civilians and security men lost
their lives in 2006 and 1,952 others in 2005. As many as 439
people were killed between January and May this year, the data
said.

A total of 83 districts in nine states -- Andhra
Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- have
been identified as Naxal-hit.

PTI

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