CRPF soldiers were not trained to fight Naxals: Army Chief

Army chief VK Singh has said the massacre of 76 CRPF men in Dantewada was a result of some internal deficiencies.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Shedding some light on what is wrong with the strategy of fighting Maoists, new Army chief VK Singh said on Thursday that the massacre of 76 CRPF men in Dantewada was also the
result of some "internal deficiencies”.

"This is a matter of concern... in what has happened,
there were some internal deficiencies, which may be in their
training or some other things and they (paramilitary forces)
are thinking over it," he told reporters when asked if the
Dantewada incident, that claimed lives of 76 personnel, was a
matter of concern.

Singh said the company that came under the Maoist attack on Tuesday was not trained by the Army for insurgency operations.

“The 62nd Battalion of the CRPF that was attacked was not trained by the Army,” he informed reporters here this evening. The government and the CRPF were examining what went wrong.

He said the Army had trained around 40,000 troops to tackle the Naxal menace and would do more when asked by the government.

“Our role is till now limited to training the personnel and giving advice to the government. Beyond that, our involvement is bound to have some implications…but that will be decided by the Home Ministry,” he said.

"The political leadership of the country has to decide whether the army is to be deployed for anti-Maoist operations. They will take a decision after considering so many aspects. It is difficult for me to say whether the army would be deployed or not," Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Elaborating on the ‘flaws’ in the training provided, Singh rued that, unlike in the Army, complete units of personnel do not come in for training.

"At times, we don`t get homogeneous entities for
training. It means that if it is a Company (for training), it
does not come to us as a Company (together), which happens in
the Army," he said.

“…result is that not all officials and troopers are trained fully,” he said.

Singh said performance of the army in counter-insurgency
operations was better as "it is the complete lot that comes to
us for training, right from officer to the man down below."

He said the Army was trying to see what more help it
could provide to the CRPF and state police forces and "we are
suggesting some measures to the Home Ministry and I am sure
once implemented things will become better."

"I think we will try and see what more we can do for them. We have suggested some measures to the ministry of home affairs... once they are implemented, there will be a change," he said.

UAVs to be deployed in anti-naxal fight

Government plans to deploy Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the fight against Naxals for
reconnaissance and their trials will take place next week.

Sources said the services of UAVs are urgently required as
the forces engaged in anti-naxal operations needed real-time
information to achieve more success.

The UAVs, imported from abroad, have the capacity to fly
5,000 feet above the ground and can instantly provide
information to the ground force for immediate action.

The sources said the government may also request the
Indian Air Force, if required, to provide a few more
helicopters for rescue, relief and surveillance.

Four helicopters of BSF are currently deployed for the
task in Naxal-affected areas.

Sources said the government also plans to split the
mandate of CRPF into two parts--one exclusively for
counter-insurgency operations and another for law and order
duties--for their better utilisation.

-Agencies inputs