Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to commission maiden anti-Naxal 'Bastariya' battalion on Monday

'Bastariya' battalion of the CRPF has members are from the Bastar region in southern Chhattisgarh.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to commission maiden anti-Naxal 'Bastariya' battalion on Monday
Pic courtesy: Twitter/@HMOIndia

Raipur: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will on Monday attend the commissioning of the 'Bastariya' battalion of the CRPF, created for the first-time with more than 534 tribal youths from Chhattisgarh. The squad that will pass out has 33 percent representation of women combatants with 189 'mahila' constables. Singh will award the best performers of the new unit after they present him with a guard of honour and a military parade.

The battalion is named 'Bastariya' as its members are from the Bastar region in southern Chhattisgarh, bordering Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana. The unique battalion - recruited from Sukma, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur districts of undivided Bastar - has been raised with a specific purpose to strengthen security forces' operations in areas where they have witnessed maximum reverses for a few years owing to a lack of concrete intelligence and familiarisation with locals and the topography.

The hardcore, localised battalion of the young combatants will be immediately deployed for anti-Naxal operations in some of the worst Left Wing Extremism-hit areas such as Sukma, Dantewada and Bijapur, a senior official was quoted as saying by PTI. The recruits have been trained for about 44 weeks in jungle warfare, weapons firing, map reading, police laws and unarmed combat, he added.

The Centre had sanctioned the battalion in July 2018. The concept to raise the team was mooted with the aim that the recruits, mostly tribals, will help address local issues such as unemployment, provide a tactical advantage to CRPF in operations, intelligence collection and language benefits. The CRPF is the lead anti-Naxal operation force and has deployed over 35,000 personnel in Chhattisgarh. 

Meanwhile, seven police personnel were killed after Naxals blew up their vehicle in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Sunday. Naxals carried out a landmine blast around 12 noon when a joint team of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and the District Force (DF) was patrolling the Cholnar-Kirandul road to provide security to trucks carrying construction material for roadworks between Kirandul and Palnar villages, a senior police official said.

The intensity of the blast, which took place near a culvert, was strong enough to toss the police vehicle in a roadside ditch. Five personnel died on the spot and two were rushed to the National Mineral Development Corporation's hospital at Kirandul. One of them died during treatment at the hospital and another was airlifted to Raipur, where he died.

(With PTI inputs)