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National force against Naxal menace coming up


Karn Kowshik,CNN-IBN
May 18, 2008 at 04:42pm IST

New Delhi: The Centre plans to set up a national force to fight Naxals all across the country and would be trained in jungle and guerilla warfare.

The Special Action Force will be modeled on Andhra Pradesh’s elite anti-naxal force and it’s only waiting for a final green signal from the Home Ministry. Almost 165 districts in the country have been declared Naxal-affected and the police have had a tough time fighting them.

“The force will have battalions which will specialise in dealing with Left-wing extremism,” says V K Joshi, Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force.

According to sources, the Special Action Force would be headquartered in Andhra Pradesh and consist of ten battalions comprising more than 10,000 select personnel.

The force will concentrate on states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. To start with, three battalions will be picked from police officials working in Naxal-affected.

Andhra Pradesh has shown the best results in the fight against Naxals and the state’s experience would be used to train the force. “A committed force which is trained in intelligence collection and operational tactics will be useful provided we pick up the right man for the right job,” says Dr P S Pasricha, former director general of police, Maharashtra

Sources say K Durgaprasad, former chief of Andhra's Greyhounds, will lead the force. Durgaprasad is an ace strategist and an expert in guerilla warfare.

He stresses on physical fitness for his men, routinely works with state and local intelligence, and aggressively carries out combing operations in forest areas, resulting in the deaths of 400 Naxalites during his tenure with the Greyhounds.

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