Plans to raise battalions in Krishnagiri, Warangal and Visakhapatnam

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will soon raise battalions and establish training centres in the southern states.

The force has identified sites in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka where it intends to build infrastructure at strategic locations.

Director General, CRPF, K. Vijay Kumar said sites were identified to raise battalions in naxal-affected Warangal and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh. The force was expecting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s consent to set up a base in Krishnagiri district where an 80-acre site was identified after analysing the proximity to National Highways and access to neighbouring Karnataka. “We are looking for battalion sites in Tamil Nadu. The State government has already allotted a 50-acre site at Idhayapatti in Sivaganga district where we have a company and intend to build operational infrastructure soon,” he told The Hindu on Friday.

In Karnataka, Mr. Vijay Kumar said the CRPF would establish battalions in Shimoga and Mysore. A Jungle Training School was being developed on a 400-acre site in Belgaum. A training centre was also planned near Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.

The CRPF chief who was here to participate in a passing out parade of newly recruited CRPF constables at the Regional Training Centre in Avadi said the force was keeping the pressure on Maoists in Chattisgarh.

“There were a few attacks on us and we lost some men. The Maoists have been there (Chattisgarh) for over two decades subjecting the local tribal people to a systematic indoctrination of their ideology. It will be a while before they (the tribal people) start trusting us…we have to be there for sometime.”

Mr. Vijay Kumar said the biggest challenge in Chattisgarh was to identify the Maoists. “It is very difficult to distinguish them from the local people. However, we are managing to move ahead into the Maoists strongholds. There are no doubt that the Maoists feel threatened and are desperate,” he said.

Earlier, he visited the family of a CRPF constable who was killed in a recent Maoist attack in Chattisgarh, at Kuppathamottur village in Vellore district. Mr. Vijay Kumar handed over a cheque of Rs.30 lakh that includes Rs.15 lakh from the CRPF Welfare Fund to the family .

“His brother Prasanth wanted a government job. He can be taken into CRPF…but his mother wants him to remain close by. We will process his case,” he added.