A year after the deadly Dantewada Naxal attack which killed 75 CRPF personnel and a Chhattisgarh policeman, the central force at the forefront of anti-Naxal operations in the country has now changed its operational techniques and is concentrating on intelligence based operations at state borders.
“The CRPF has now mandated its young officers, in the ranks of Assisstant Commandants and Deputy Commandants to undertake special operations, based on intelligence, importantly at the state borders which see a huge Naxal movement,” a senior CRPF officer supervising the operations at Raipur said.On April six last year, armed Naxalites had ambushed an entire company of the force at Chintalnar in Dantewada killing 75 CRPF men and a state police official, dealing a severe blow to the force in its anti-naxal operations.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) headquarters in the national capital has also asked its formations to deal directly with the state administration and the Unified Commands (created in the aftermath of the Dantewada attack) before undertaking operations in these areas.
CRPF chief K Vijay Kumar along with Additional Director General (Operations) P M Nair have been undertaking a series of tours to the Naxal affected areas “fortifying the CRPF presence” and “ensuring infrastructure and other facilities to the troops stationed there.”
The force has also sanctioned additional weaponary and recovery vehicles to each of the about 65 battalions deployed for counter-Naxalite operations in various states.
“The CRPF had a setback after Dantewada happened. Now the troops have been asked to concentrate in undertaking operations along the borders of the naxal affected states because this is where the maximum movement and activity of armed Naxal cadres is,” a top CRPF officer said.
The troops, and the Commanders of the units, have been asked to plan operations “meticulously” and in consultation with the state police.
They need to inform the CRPF headquarters only if the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are not found to be followed because of certain reasons,” the officer said.
Six battalions of the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), have also been activated fully and are undertaking operations themselves and assisting regular CRPF units in few cases.
The force is also in the process of expanding its intelligence unit in these locations.
CRPF Director General, K Vijay Kumar, who took charge of the force in October last year, had personally undertaken some ambush operations in Chhattisgarh and other states to boost the morale of these men, the officer said.