NEW DELHI: Government has decided to deploy an additional 11,000 paramilitary men for undertaking anti- Naxal operations in the worst Maoist-affected Bastar division of Chhattisgarh where red ultras recently carried out a deadly ambush and killed 14 CRPF personnel.
With the induction of these 11 new battalions, 10 of CRPF and one of Border Security Force, the southern most part of the central Indian state will have the maximum number of security forces' present in a given divisional area.
"The Union Home Ministry has sanctioned deployment of 10 additional battalions of the CRPF and one of the BSF to be inducted for operations in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh which has become the epicentre of major Naxal violence incidents against the state and the security forces off-late," a senior officer said.
Of these 11 battalions, three have already reached the dense jungles and village areas of Bastar division which comprises seven districts. Bastar is strategic to security forces operations against Maoists as it is surrounded by the tri-junction of three other Naxal violence-affected states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
"The entire induction of these 11 battalions is expected to be completed by April next year," the officer added.
The Bastar region, with districts of Bijapur, Sukma, Dantewada, Bastar, Kondagaon, Narayanpur and Kanker, already has 31 battalions or about 31,000 personnel of these central security forces apart from two special units of the elite CoBRA commandos unit of CRPF.
With the addition of 11 more contingents, the officer said, Bastar will have 41 units along with state police squads within an area of 40,000sq km, one of the largest when it comes to the number of security forces in a defined geographical area.
While the 10 new CRPF units will be deployed largely in Sukma and Dantewada districts, the lone BSF unit will be inducted in Kanker where the force already has seven battalions.
The CRPF, the officer said, is already in the process of de-inducting and subsequently training its battalions working at present in Jammu and Kashmir and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra to fill up the required numbers in Bastar.
The jungles of Bastar division have seen and claimed the maximum lives with some of the deadliest Naxal attacks occurring here, ranging from the April 2010 ambush which killed 76 security personnel in Dantewada, last year's 'Jiram ghati' massacre of the entire top Congress leadership of the state and latest killing of 14 CRPF men in Sukma.