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Bengal Police need proper training to face Maoists: Centre

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 21:31

New Delhi: "Unprofessionalism" in the West
Bengal Police was responsible for the slaying of 24 of its men
by Maoists in a surprise attack on "adequately staffed" camp
in West Midnapore, Home Ministry officials said.

A Central team will visit West Bengal, probably on
Thursday, to review with the state government the security
situation there.

After a review meeting, the Home Ministry today sought a
report from the West Bengal government on attack on the camp
of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) in Shilda in West
Midnapore district.

Home Ministry officials felt the Standard Operating
Procedure (SOP) to maintain a camp of securitymen was not
followed by the policemen posted there.

"There was no proper guard, the camp was not adequately
barricaded, jawans were neither keeping arms with them nor
had they kept them at a place easily available and even the
toilets were used by general public. All these were against
basic police norms," an official said.

The officials feel the West Bengal Police urgently needed
adequate training in order to face the Maoists` challenge and
come up to the occasion through "professionalism".

"They need proper training and acclimatisation as they are
not on a routine duty. The response of securitymen present at
the camp was not adequate," the official said.

The Central government officials feel the EFR personnel
did not anticipate the attack on such a scale and thus could
be easily overpowered by Maoists, showing that securitymen
were not prepared for such an ambush.

The Centre is now preparing four states -- West Bengal,
Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar -- for a major coordinated
offensive to flush out Naxals from their hideouts.

"We need 10,000 to 15,000 additional para-military
personnel for deployment in the four states," the official

The Home Ministry was exploring options from where the
Central forces could be withdrawn and sent for the offensive
against Maoists.


First Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 21:31
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