Marcus Dam

KOLKATA: The West Bengal Government is raising a new counter-insurgency force to be based in the Salbani-Goaltore area of the Maoist-affected Paschim Medinpuir district in the State.

The State Finance Department has allotted Rs.25 crore for the setting up of the force which will be engaged mainly in anti-Maoist operations, said State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen here on Thursday.

Initially the force will comprise 400 commandos but the strength will be increased to that of a battalion eventually, he said.

“The commandos will be trained by experts from the Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force and other para-military forces and they will be ready for operation very soon”, Mr Sen said.

Central para-military forces are presently engaged in joint security operations with the State Armed Police to flush out Maoists from parts of Paschim Medinipur district. The operations began in the Lalgarh area of the district last June. Security personnel have also made forays into Maoist-affected areas in neighbouring Purulia and Bankura districts in recent times.