The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to send an additional 4,000 paramilitary personnel to Chhattisgarh, to strengthen anti-Naxal operations being carried out jointly by the Centre and the State government. The move follows Union Home Secretary R. K. Singh's visit to the state capital, Raipur, on Tuesday.
It is learnt that the State government urged Mr. Singh to augment central paramilitary personnel in one of the worst Naxal-affected states. The Centre currently has 26 battalions (approximately 1,000 personnel per battalion) of paramilitary forces in Chhattisgarh that are assisting the state police forces in dealing with the Maoists.
Sources said the decision to increase the paramilitary forces in Chhattisgarh was taken keeping in mind the state's hostile and difficult terrain, and the changed strategy of the Naxals against security forces. The MHA officials believe that the extra forces would help in carrying out operations against Maoists more effectively.
During his day-long visit, the Home Secretary interacted with state government officials, including district magistrates, and security personnel in Naxal-hit areas, and got their feedback on the ground situation.
Meanwhile, the MHA has rejected charges of Goa and Delhi governments that they weren't taken into confidence while deciding on administrative reshuffle in these two states. “All transfers and postings of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre officers were done as per laid-down norms and rules,” Mr. Singh told journalists here.
On Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had met Home Minister P. Chidambaram, and demanded that she be consulted on the issue of transfers of top administrative officials, while Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had demanded an apology from the Home Minister for “unilaterally appointing IPS officers in the state without taking the state government into confidence”.
The MHA, which controls the AGMUT cadre officers, recently transferred key officials, including IAS and IPS, who had completed their stipulated tenures in a particular administrative area. “Some time, we do make exceptions in transfer and postings, only due to strong grounds like ill health. But that too, for a few months only,” Mr. Singh added.
Meanwhile, the MHA officials said soon a major reshuffle of senior administrative officials, including civil and police officials, would be carried out in Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.