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Force Magazine

Fighting the Enemy

More technological solutions have to be acquired by the government to counter IED threats posed to the CRPF in the Red Corridor

By Dilip Kumar Mekala

Fighting the Enemy
IED blast site in Chhattisgarh

If the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) were to be believed, the paramilitary forces fighting the internal security battle — especially in the Red Corridor — were provided with the best equipment. The paramilitary personnel, however, think otherwise. Either it is inadequate number of weapons and systems, or inefficient training; till now the paramilitary forces have not been able to handle the security situation in the Naxal stronghold areas. Latest in the long list of disappointments were the incidents of Naxal attacks during the General Elections.

On April 12, Bastar and Bijapur districts in Chhattisgarh witnessed Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) blasts during the voting season. Maoists triggered landmines in these two areas which claimed the lives of seven polling officials and five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. Three days later, another blast was carried out which killed three security forces. On May 11, seven cops were killed in yet another landmine blast in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra.

When asked for MHA’s assessment on these security lapses, a highly placed official in the ministry said that the paramilitary personnel were in the ‘election mode’, and as a result security vacuum was created. He implied that it was not physically possible to ensure full safety in this so-called ‘election mode’. He then tossed over the responsibility and blame on to the director generals (DG) of the paramilitary forces. “The top leadership of the paramilitary forces could have done better by ensuring proper training to their troops,” he said. Giving the example of mini-training centres, which were the brain-child of the then DG CRPF Vijay Kumar, the MHA official said that the DGs did not take this idea forward. Apparently, lack of coordinated efforts between the top officials led to the lack of training.

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