Separate intelligence unit needed to tackle naxal menace: CRPF

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) Rueing the lack of intelligence for its high casualty in naxal-affected areas, the CRPF today once again sought a separate intelligence unit to counter the menace saying the problem was likely to continue and fester until a proper system was in place for effective operation.

In Chhattisgarh alone, 37 deaths have been reported and that is because the police there was not providing intelligence inputs, said CRPF Director General addressing the media.

''The casualty in Jharkhand and Orissa is nominal, but in Chhattisgarh, the maximum number of deaths at the hands of naxals have been reported because of poor intelligence.'' Even the state police does not have enough information on naxals, he added.

Stating that a separate intelligence unit would be a big force multiplier to counter the naxal menace, Mr Joshi said intelligence gathering and accurate information was the single biggest problem in tackling them.

''Today we have to depend totally on the state police for intelligence inputs before we begin any operation. And this bit varies from state to state becuase of which encounters or ambushes are not very successful.'' On the source of arms, explosives and finance which naxals use with deadly impact, the DG said majority of the arms are those looted during attacks on security forces while the explosives are got from the mines and quarries.

''Due to lack of intelligence we are unable even to get to the specific sources to cut off supply.'' Regarding the finance, most of it is basically extortion money or protection money, he said, adding that so far no havala type transactions have been found.

Stating that despite naxal menace being the top priority of the government, it was surprising why it was not acceeding to our request for a separate intelligence unit, the DG emphasised that high casualty figures were also because the state police too do not have much information on naxals.

Mr Joshi also informed that 85 additional companies would be deployed in Chhattisgarh for state elections, besides the 14 companies already there for anti-naxal operations.

On 'late action' by security forces during attack on Christians in Orissa, the CRPF DG said ''we act on the orders of the state government.'' UNI AN AKJ NS1643

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