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Maha, AP, C`garh to launch joint anti-Naxal operation soon

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 20:58

Nagpur: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday said
it would soon launch an anti-Naxal operation in coordination
with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The state has three battalions of Central paramilitary
forces and policemen have been provided with necessary
training and sophisticated weapons. We would soon launch an
anti-Naxal operation in coordination with Andhra Pradesh and
Chhattisgarh, Home Minister R R Patil told the assembly.
There has been a spurt in Maoist activities in Gadchiroli
district. At least 17 policemen were killed in a Naxal attack
in Bhamragarh taluka of the district in October. A young road
contractor was killed by a group of Naxalites on November 25,
he said.

The minister informed the House that 52 policemen were
killed by Naxalites between February and May this year. The
extremists were also disrupting developmental activities and
terrorising contractors working in deep forests.

There have been instances of the ultras snatching arms
and ammunition of Forest Department officials while they were
on patrolling duty, he said.

As part of streamlining and strengthening the police
force in Gadchiroli, the worst Naxal-hit district has been
divided into two parts - Gadchiroli and Aheri, Patil said.
About 2,355 new posts of policemen are being created
for the newly set up Gadchiroli police range. State Reserve
Police Force (SRPF) Group No 13, based in Nagpur, will be
shifted to Gadchiroli to beef up anti-Naxal defence, he said.

Policemen in the newly created range will be equipped
with motorcycles, binoculars, bullet-proof jackets, night
vision goggles and anti-landmine vehicles among other
equipment. Efforts are also on to procure a helicopter, the
Minister said.

The Government was providing Rs five lakh compensation
each to the families of those killed by Naxalites on suspicion
of being police informers, he said.

Unemployed local youths in the 23-40 age group are
being recruited on a priority basis in police force to deal
with the Naxal menace, Patil stated.

Policemen posted in Naxal-infested areas are paid one
and half times more salary due to difficult condition they
operate in. They are also given 30-day special leave and
additional allowances, the Minister said.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 20:58

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