SSB joins anti-Naxal operations in Jharkhand
New Delhi: After Jammu and Kashmir, the SSB, which guards Indo-Nepal border, has been again deployed on internal security duty - this time in Jharkhand to fight the Naxal menace.
Around 2,000 personnel of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have now been dispatched by the Centre for anti-Naxal operations in Jharkhand.
The Centre, through the Union Home Ministry, has decided to step up operations in the state which is under President's rule at present, official sources said.
The two SSB battalions will be deployed at Ranchi and Jamshedpur and will supplement the efforts of the CRPF and the state police who are already involved in the same task, they said.
The battalions have been trained by the CRPF in jungle warfare and counter-IED skills and techniques apart from undergoing rigorous drills in their own centres.
Jharkhand already has about 16 CRPF battalions and the Centre wants to develop and clear more areas like the Saranda forests in order to bring in the state machinery and wipe off the effects of Maoist violence.
The SSB, which is also designated to guard Indo-Bhutan border besides Indo-Nepal border, used to be a part of anti-Maoist operations till October 2011.
Their duties in Chhattisgarh involved guarding of Salwa Judum camps which, however, came to end after the Supreme Court banned the movement aimed at rallying former Maoists and locals against the red rebels.
The force will be the fourth central paramilitary after CRPF, BSF and Indo-Tibetan Border Police to be a part of this task in a full-fledged manner.
With this induction, the total number of para-military personnel deployed for anti-Maoist operations has crossed well over one lakh with CRPF having deployed 82 battalion, BSF 11 and ITBP six. Each battalion comprises around 1,000 personnel.
The SSB has deployed five battalions in Jammu and Kashmir where they are part of counter-insurgency grid.