Chhattisgarh seeks Naga battalions to take on Naxals
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has sought battalions of Nagaland armed police force personnel, experts in jungle warfare, from the Union Home Ministry to take on Naxals in his state.
“We have asked the Home Ministry to deploy some Naga armed police force personnel in Chhattisgarh. They will be taking up the matter with Nagaland government,” said Singh.
The Naga battalions were deployed in the Bastar region of the state, worst-affected by Naxal extremism, and they did a good job, he said. “Experience shows that Nagaland battalions were very useful in fighting the naxalites. They are very good at jungle warfare,” the CM said.
Singh said his government was determined to end the Naxal menace in the state.
“There is no doubt about it. It (naxalism) will end. The state government has carried out much development work and the naxalites are frustrated by it,” he said.
Asked about his views on deployment of Army to fight naxals, Singh expressed his reservation. “Neither our Constitution nor our conscience would allow deployment of the Army. They are for fighting external enemies. We will take on Naxals. Naxalism will be removed from the state soon,” he said.
Citing challenges being faced in tackling naxalism, Singh said Bastar is bigger than Kerala and shares borders with other Maoist-hit states such as Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. “Forces took 40 years to catch one Veerappan (dreaded sandalwood smuggler who was killed by security forces in 2004). There are thousands of Veerappans in the state. But we will catch each one of them,” he said.
Addressing a rally in the Naxal hotbed of Dantewada, PM Narendra Modi had advised Maoists to abjure violence and take part in ensuring the country's development.