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Naxal-affected states to raise additional IR Battalions

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 27 (UNI) Concerned over mounting casualties from naxal attacks, the Centre today allowed the Maoists-infested states to raise nine additional India Reserve(IR) Battalions to effectively combat the menace by recruiting the local people and gradually reducing the states' dependence on central forces.

The nine additional battalions to be raised in eight states will together have 9000 personnel.

"Sanctioning of two more battalions are under consideration," Union Home Ministry sources said here today.

The Ministry has sanctioned two IR battalions to Chhattisgarh, the worst affected state where Maoists violence has caused the highest civilian casualties and death of security personnel during the first four months of the current year.

One battalion each will be raised in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

The states have been asked to raise these Battalions from the naxal-affected areas which will not only help in weaning away the unemployed youth who otherwise get attracted to alternative sources of livelihood offered by naxal elements but will also enable the states to progressively reduce their dependence on the Central Para-Military Forces for internal security duties.

The states also have to arrange specialized commando training to the new India Reserve Battalions whose personnel are recruited locally and, therefore, better suited to tackle the extremist problem, knowing the demography, customs and traditions, ethos and culture of the area, sources added.

The Centre has also offered support in training of these Battalions by Central Para-Military Forces and Army.

"The additional forces are to enable the states to effectively deal with the naxal problem," the sources said.

The battalions sanctioned under the new scheme will get higher central financial support of over Rs.20 crore per Battalion towards the cost of raising and infrastructure as compared to Rs 13 crore earlier that had 50 per cent loan component.

In addition, five India Reserve Battalions have also been sanctioned to Jammu and Kashmir and six to the North-Eastern States namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura with 100 per cent funding as per the existing scheme.

UNI SH YA RK1735

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