The Ministry of Home Affairs has convened a meeting of all nine Naxal-affected states on July 13 to formulate standard operating procedures (SoP) for anti-Naxal operation if civilians are mixed with armed guerrilla cadres.
Sources said a proposal was moved to all the state DGPs after the recent row over killing of 19 people in Silger jungle of Chhattisgarh.
Sources also said there were several barriers as far as such operations were concerned. There is no legal framework for counter-insurgency operations.
The Naxals may use innocent people as human shields or get mixed with them. The forces cannot distinguish the two.
“The SoP will deal with problems like these and we will formulate a policy on what to do in a situation where villagers or tribals are used as human shield,” sources said.
The proposed meeting will take stock of the ongoing anti-Naxal operation in different states and central and state forces deployed for anti-Naxal operation will be asked to exercise precautions to avoid any civilian casualty during the planned operation.
“Some clear directive is also expected to be issued to paramilitary and state forces deployed in anti-Naxal operations to abandon it if civilians are being used by Naxals as human shield during the day time,” sources said.
The CRPF is mulling to procure night vision equipment for the forces deployed in nine states to minimise the risk of barging into civilians group.