Open to changes to tackle naxal challenge, says new CRPF DG

As CRPF grapples with the naxal menace, its new chief on Wednesday asserted that he will not shy away from taking determined action, including structural changes in the force, to meet the "formidable" challenge posed by the extremists.

Updated: Oct 06, 2010, 20:52 PM IST

New Delhi: As CRPF grapples with the naxal
menace, its new chief on Wednesday asserted that he will not shy away
from taking determined action, including structural changes in
the force, to meet the "formidable" challenge posed by the
extremists.

Director General K Vijay Kumar, who shot to fame as
chief of Special Task Force (STF) which eliminated dreaded
forest brigand Veerappan in 2004, today took over the reins of
the nearly three-lakh strong force which is in the thick of
action against the naxals in various states.
"My priorities are to see that things (indicating
operations and other aspects) going on are more purposeful...
also keeping in mind the governments view and agenda," Kumar,
a 1975-batch Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer, told reporters
after taking charge from outgoing DG Vikram Srivastava.

Asked whether he considers the naxal problem as a
challenge, he said, "Who would not? Who did not? It is a
formidable challenge."

When asked if the world`s largest paramilitary force
will see some structural changes with him at the helm now,
58-year-old Kumar replied in the affirmative but added that he
could only decide on it when he spends some more time in the
new assignment.

"If any structural changes are required I will take
it...all such measures which are within my authority (will be
taken).

"Something which is not within my authority will be
addressed to higher authorities," he said.

Kumar, who was till now the Director of the Hyderabad
based Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, said
the best practices and lessons of his earlier operations and
stints can always be used to new theatres of work.
"Lessons which are learnt in one operation can be
transferred..but these (Veerappan and anti-naxal operations)
are different turfs...two different cups of tea," Kumar said
at the force headquarters here.

Comparing the Veerappan operation with naxal menace,
the CRPF chief said "the fugitive was different then.. but
here (in naxal areas) the terrain is undulating and in favour
of the other man who is hiding".

Kumar also said the training aspects of both the
military and the police can go hand-in-hand while jungle
warfare skills are being imparted to paramilitary personnel.

When asked for his opinion on the naxal menace, Kumar
said that the issue is not related to any one particular
place.

"It has urban connections...in terms of
harbouring... in terms of giving logistics...financial
support," Kumar said.

The new CRPF chief was earlier accorded a Guard of
Honour before he took the baton from outgoing chief Srivastava
who has been transferred to the Bureau of Police Research and
Development as Director General.

Kumar was then briefed by senior officers, who had
come from various formations from across the country, about
the deployment and strategies of the force.

Kumar did not take queries on other issues related to
the force including deployment in Kashmir, the Armed Forces
Special Powers Act and using air power in the naxal areas of
the country, saying it would be inappropriate for him to
comment on them.

"The removal of CRPF bunkers in Kashmir was a
government step under its eight-point programme for the
state," he said.

PTI