All-out offensive against Naxals in March next year



New Delhi: An all-out offensive against the Naxals, which will see over 60,000 Central security personnel in action, will commence from March next year, official sources said on Wednesday.

Central security personnel drawn from the CRPF, ITBP and BSF, have already started reaching the respective area of operation and are currently undergoing area familiarisation process.

The Central security personnel, who have also been trained in new jungle warfare techniques, will be joined by the state police personnel besides commandos of the newly raised 10-battalion strong Commando Battalion for Resolute Action.

Sources said though the operation was scheduled to start by now, it got delayed primarily due to the Maharashtra and Jharkhand elections. They said some infrastructural support is yet to come up in certain areas of operation and they are waiting for everything to be ready before going in for the push.

Security personnel have re-drawn their strategies keeping in mind that they would be entering areas and forests which security personnel had not ventured into so far.

The Naxals too are re-stratagising and are coming up with their defence systems.

Naxals are laying pressure bombs in the jungles, which are similar to landmines besides constructing new pits with wooden spikes in order to sabotage the operations of the security personnel. .

Even as the paramilitary and state police personnel prepare for the offensive, Central security agencies and state intelligence agencies have been asked to keep a tab on the top rung leaders of the Naxals.

Sources said the strategy is to take on the top leadership so as to cripple the Naxals.

"If the leg is broken, you still can jump around but with the head gone, the body is lifeless. Even though the personnel will fight the foot soldiers of the Naxals, we will have to aim for the top honchos too," the sources said, adding the recent arrest of Naxal Politburo Kobad Ghandy was a result of this endeavour.

As per an estimate, there are about 7000-10,000 armed Naxals operating in about 40,000 sq km area of the country.

The security forces in-charge of maintaining internal security have suffered more casualties at the hands of the Naxals than in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir or the insurgency affected Northeast.

Of the 65 CRPF personnel who lost their lives this year, 57 were killed in Maoist-hit states.

PTI