KOLKATA: The West Bengal government will form a special combat force to deal with Maoists in Junglemahal. Sources said the special force named Special Trained Armed Battalion (STAB) will be formed and more than 2,000 personnel will be included in the new force.
“The STAB will be deployed in Purulia and Jhargram districts to keep a close eye on Maoists’ movement in the area. The personnel who will be under the new force will collect intelligence about the activities of the outlawed outfit’s and act accordingly,’’ said an official.
Earlier, Purulia, Jhargram, West Midnapore, Bankura and part of Birbhum district used to be considered as Maoists’ strongholds and these areas were included under the category of the central home department’s security-related expenditure (SRE) zone.
“After the death of Maoist leader Kishanji in 2011, the rebel outfit retreated from Junglemahal.
Because no activity by the rebels was visible since then, the centre withdrew SRE status of all the districts other than Jhargram,’’ said the official.
A senior police official said Bengal government had asked the Centre not to withdraw CRPF from Purulia because the rebels might sneak back from adjoining Jharkhand state. “The plea was turned down. We decided to form the STAB to deal with the rebels,’’ said the official.