PC favours info-based action against Naxals

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram today batted for continuing effective and "intelligence-based" operations in Naxal-hit states as he announced over 800 fresh posts for the crucial snoop unit of BSF. He also asked the force to deploy its "skills and tactics" for anti-Maoist offensives which it has developed over the years in anti-insurgency operations.

"I would urge the BSF to continue to upgrade their skills and tactics that have been developed over years of experience in counter-insurgency operations and to adapt them in ongoing anti-Naxal operations," Chidambaram said while addressing jawans and officers of the force during their 46th Raising Day celebrations here.

"I am sure the BSF, with its proven capabilities, is ideally equipped and trained to undertake important intelligence-based operations to achieve success," he said after he reviewed the Border Security Force (BSF) parade at its camp in South-west Delhi`s Chhawla. The BSF is in the process of inducting close to 2,000 additional personnel (two battalions), adding to existing ten battalions, for anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

"I am happy to say that this year the government has approved major proposals for strengthening the BSF…1,520 posts for augmenting the training capacities, 450 additional posts for engineering (wing) and 825 posts for the BSF `G` set up," the Home Minister announced.

The `G` branch of the BSF acts as the backbone for conducting precision operations and it is being replicated by the CRPF at present for its anti-Naxal operations.  Lauding the role of the force which was raised in 1965 for border guarding tasks, Chidambaram said it has been performing the "most difficult challenges" since then.

"We wish to be friends with our neighbours. With every neighbour we wish peace and brotherhood. To every neighbour we offer our good wishes, stability and development. "South Asia can become a heaven of peace and progress if all countries learn to live together in peace and harmony," he said in his speech.

The Home Minister said he was abreast with the hostile and difficult conditions that the BSF personnel face while rendering their duties and the government is working for their capacity building and welfare every day. Chidambaram also said that approvals have been granted to the force for acquiring new land for creating operational bases. "I assure you that the government is fully sensitive to the needs and requirements of BSF," he said.

He said that a modern 200-bed hospital is also coming up at Greater Noida for central forces at a cost of Rs 120 crore. During the event, BSF Director General U K Bansal said the force will revamp the deployment pattern and upgrade the weaponry of the force to meet challenges of the future.