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Centre to launch massive operation against Naxals in November

October 12, 2009 19:20 IST
The government is all set to launch its much-awaited coordinated massive offensive against Naxals next month, a top home ministry official said on Monday.

"We will launch the operation sometime in November," the official said without elaborating. The Cabinet Committee of Security had recently approved the government's new plan to counter Maoists under which the affected states will have an effective coordination.

According to the plan, six districts of four states -- Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra -- have been initially chosen to implement the strategy and after its completion, security forces will be moved into new areas.

According to the plan worked out by the home ministry, the anti-Naxal operations will be undertaken in states affected by Left-wing extremism and would be assisted by the personnel of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, a Central force, with state police in frontal role.

The home ministry has already discussed the issue threadbare with chief ministers of Naxal-affected states in the second week of September. "We have assigned around 40,000 paramilitary personnel for the operations and some more will join them soon," the official said.

According to the plan, once an area is cleared of Maoists, developmental activities could be carried out in full swing so that they cannot return. Air Force and the Border Security Force helicopters will be used for reinforcements and evacuation of casualties only, but not for any offensive.

The operations will be carried out in 20 states (in phases) affected by the Maoist menace and they will also share intelligence. "We hope that literally within 30 days of security forces moving in and dominating the area, we should be able to restore civil administration there," Home Secretary G K Pillai has said last week.

The government feels that Naxal menace can be wiped out from across the country by 12 to 30 months. Around 25 lakh people live in areas where Maoists are now having a free run.

"We would love to have more paramilitary forces to restore civil administration in larger areas. But we would for the time being manage with what we have and we are not really calling upon either the army or the air force or the navy to help us," Pillai had said.

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