Army training 50,000 men to take on Naxals?

Last Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 15:49

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Indian Army has started preparing for the possibility of being called upon to tackle the growing Naxal threat in the country.

As per a report in a English daily on Thursday, the Army Headquarters has decided to train 50,000 soldiers so that they are in "ready-to-deploy" condition, for operations in the Naxal dominated area if and when the need arises.

The government, however, has ruled out the use of military against the ultras, for now.

Clearly, the Army doesn’t want to be caught unawares if it is suddenly called in for operations as the approach for operations in the jungles of central India are radically different from the lessons imparted to Army men for conventional warfare.

As per the report, the Lucknow-based Central Command has been the task of designing a special training plan which would, besides focusing on jungle warfare techniques, would also help the soldiers understand the topography of the operational areas, and ways to fight an enemy that is adept in blending into the tribal population.
Clearly, the Army’s approach is different from the current tactics being employed by the paramilitary forces -random raids deep in the jungles, an approach fraught with risks.
As against this, the Army, if and when called in, plans to create a security grid –isolating the civilian population – so as to minimise collateral damage and maximise operational success, the report said.

In fact, as per the report, as a prelude to actual deployment, the Army has already started to focus on intelligence gathering in the Naxal belt.



First Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 15:49

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