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UP prepares commandos to uproot naxals

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Apr 4 (UNI) Unable to check the naxal menace in Uttar Pradesh, the state police has decided to prepare its own commandos to root out naxalites from highly sensitive eastern districts of Sonebhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur.

Inspector General of Police (Varanasi Zone) K L Meena, who also heads the Anti-Naxal Operations in the state, told UNI from Varanasi that as part of the policy of ''proactive policing'' in the naxal affected region, a 31-member Quick Reaction Team (QRT) team has been constituted.

The QRT comprising one inspector, three sub-inspectors, six head constables and 21 constables will work on lines of army commandos and pursue an ''agressive'' policy for uprooting the naxals in the forest rich districts of Chandauli, Sonebhadra and Mirzapur, Mr Meena added.

A training programme was underway in Chandauli and Sonebhadra districts to make the QRT familiar with the topography and difficult geographical conditions in the hills and forests of the highly sensitive twin districts of Sonebhadra and Chandauli.

Mr Meena said becoming familiar to the topography of forests was a must for the QRT personnel as they would have to march directly to the site where any incident of encounter with naxals takes place.

This would be followed by the training of QRT with para military forces and also army personnel, he added.

Mr Meena said the QRT has been created recently to add more aggression to anti-naxal operations. In a year or two this QRT will be known as the commandos of UP Police, as the selected cops for this team are being prepared to challenge the naxals in difficult geographical conditions, which often help the naxalites in dodging the forces and seeking safe shelters.

Apart from the operation wing a separate intelligence wing of the team has also started operating in the naxal affected districts of Mirzapur, Sonebhadra and Chandauli, Mr Meena said.

Though there is a provision for the appointment of an ASP to head this cell, the QRT is operating under the direct supervision of the IGP.

The success of these new police commandos in the jagged terrains will pave the way for constitution of a few more QRTs, comprising cops drafted from police force in the Varanasi Zone, Mr Meena hoped.

The IG further maintained that the QRT will be in form of reserve force in addition to the 14 companies of PAC and six companies of CRP deployed in the three naxal affected districts.

''While CRP, police and PAC personnel will continue with routine patrolling operations, the commandos (QRT) will specialise in swoop operations on naxal targets on the basis of specific inputs for which the information/intelligence set up was being bolstered,'' Mr Meena said.

The QRT personnel after getting acquainted with topographical details of the three districts, were likely to be put through intensive training in combative skills under the CRP and army personnel in Varanasi, the IG said.

The proactive stance of security forces on anti-naxal duty has been further streamlined with the arrival of sophisticated weaponry including AK-47, upgraded SLRs, grenade launchers and superior LMGs, the IG said.

He added that three Mine Proof Vehicles (MPVs) have already been given to the forces to neutralise any landmine misadventure by the naxalites.

The government has also ordered 38 bullet-proof Gypsies from the Defence Ministry facility in Hyderabad, out of which 10 have already arrived in the three districts, while another 18 were likely to be handed over to the police soon, he said.

The 10 remaining bullet-proof Gypsies will join the forces by the end of this month, he added.

UNI ARS NAB SC MSJ BD1308

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