The former CRPF chief will suggest measures to tackle Maoists

The Union government has appointed the former Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force, K. Vijay Kumar, as Senior Security Adviser in the Home Ministry where he will advise on security and development in the Naxal-affected States.

As per a government order issued on Monday, Mr. Kumar’s services will be “utilised for advice in security and development in LWE [left wing extremism] theatre” for “a period of two years or till further orders.” Mr. Kumar has been entrusted with the job of advising in deployment of the Central armed police forces (CAPFs) in the LWE-affected areas, besides overseeing coordination among the CAPFs and State police forces (SPFs) for counter-insurgency operations.

In addition to charting out an effective “surrender and rehabilitation policy” for Maoists, the ex-CRPF DG would play an active role in training the CAPFs and the SPFs in counter-insurgency operations and jungle warfare, besides introducing technology, including weapons and equipment in the Central and State police forces.

Mr. Kumar will also suggest the government on “types of development efforts” needed in the Maoist-affected States to address “development deficit and employment generation for youth.” He will also be looking after media planning for management in these States, besides coordinating with other Central ministries and State governments. .

Mr. Kumar, a 1975 batch IPS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre, took over as CRPF chief in 2010 when the morale of the personnel of India’s largest paramilitary force was at its lowest ebb following repeated onslaught by Maoists. During his two-year tenure, he helped the CRPF tackle Naxals through strategic operational planning, besides ensuring better coordination between the CRPF and State police forces.

The former Home Minister (now Finance Minister) P. Chidambaram and his successor Sushilkumar Shinde tried to get extension for Mr. Kumar as the CRPF DG, which was turned town by the Prime Minister-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). However, senior Ministers including Mr. Shinde, Mr. Chidambaram and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh openly advocated that Mr. Kumar be brought back in the government to ensure that the ground gained in the LWE-affected areas is not lost to Maoists.

When contacted, Mr. Ramesh told The Hindu that much is at stake for the Centre in the nine LWE-hit States. “We have pumped in huge sums of money through various flagship programmes, besides the Planning Commission’s ‘Integrated Action Plan’ in 82 most-backward districts. We can fight Maoists only through development and progress. Our efforts have started showing results as Maoists are retreating and people are regaining faith in the government … we cannot afford to lose this initiative now.”

The Rural Development Minister also noted that Mr. Kumar’s appointment as adviser in the MHA, specifically for the LWE theatre, was a positive step. “Mr. Kumar’s initiatives have brought in positive changes in the Naxal-hit States. He has not only defeated Naxals in warfare but has also helped in development efforts and in better coordination between the Centre and the States. We hope to see more such positive changes coming through his initiatives,” Mr. Ramesh added.

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