CRPF help sought for development in Naxal areas

CRPF`s help was sought on Tuesday for carrying out development works in worst Maoist-hit districts after Home Minister P Chidambaram maintained that the elite force was meant for restoring peace in troubled areas.

Updated: Sep 13, 2011, 17:44 PM IST

New Delhi: CRPF`s help was sought on Tuesday for
carrying out development works in worst Maoist-hit districts
after Home Minister P Chidambaram maintained that the elite
force was meant for restoring peace in troubled areas.

"I do request you...while I agree with you that raising a
battalion, training a battalion, equipping a battalion will
take some time, I think, we do require some assistance from
the CRPF in some of these districts," Rural Development
Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

He made the request at a national workshop here attended
by the Collectors of 60 Left wing extremism affected districts
after Chidambaram made it clear at the programme that the CRPF
is not a static guarding force but a fighting one.

Ramesh sought the help of CRPF for identifying "critical
infrastructure gap" not in all 60 affected districts but in
some "hardcore" Maoist affected districts.

"I agree with you that CRPF presence is not a permanent
presence. It is an in and out. But I still request you that if
we can work with the CRPF to identify critical infrastructure
gaps in some of the worst affected districts," he said.

"These are works people have been wanting for the last
30-40 years. These are works that states have been promising
for 30-40 years. But it has not happened. That is one reason
for the trust deficit," Ramesh said.

Ramesh also cited the example of Balaghat district in
Madhya Pradesh where reported "positive impact in CRPF
activities" that helped in taking up works under the Mahatma
Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

"Now they have taken up the MGNREGA work simply because
of the psychological impact of having the CRPF presence in
this area," the minister said.

PTI