Raipur: Chhattisgarh, one of India`s worst insurgency-hit states, will recruit 3,000 more special police officers (SPOs) in violence-hit Bastar region to step up the fight against guerrillas who are dominating the forces for the past three years.
Home department officials said the central government has approved Chhattisgarh`s proposal for recruiting 3,000 SPOs.
"The state government will soon begin the process for recruiting local people in Bastar to strengthen the police base in areas where Maoists are stronger," sources in the home department said.
SPOs are not a regular police force and their basic assignment is to team up with state police and paramilitary forces to dismantle the Maoist terror network. They are drawn from local youths and possess handy leads about Maoist movement in forested terrain.
"SPOs are proving extremely useful for police to take the war to the Maoist heartland. Chhattisgarh has presently about 3,500 SPOs and once we add 3,000 more in Bastar, we will be able to turn the heat on the Maoists," commented a senior official at the police headquarters here.
Chhattisgarh has recently formed a separate fighters` unit, Koya Commando, drawn from SPOs. The Koya Commando unit has made successful hits on Maoists in areas where neither the paramilitary troopers nor the state police managed to enter for years.