Ranchi, Oct. 19: The Centre has pledged Rs 80 crore to the state to house a special anti-Naxal strike force, Jharkhand Jaguars, that is operating out of a makeshift camp set up in a village on the outskirts of the state capital.
“Home ministry officials told us that Planning Commission has already given its nod to provide financial help to the tune of Rs 80 crore for raising infrastructure for the STF. This would be of great help,” inspector general (operations and special branch) S.N. Pradhan, told The Telegraph today.
The assurance came during a meeting, held in Delhi yesterday, that was attended by chief secretary S.K. Choudhary, home secretary J.B. Tubid, DGP G.S. Rath and Pradhan.
The Jharkhand Jaguars were appointed by the state in 2009-10. As many as 25 assault groups, each comprising 50-60 personnel, mostly from the army, were added to the state’s security forces to strengthen anti-Naxalite operations.
They have been provided accommodation at Tendar village in the outskirts of Ranchi where barracks of temporary huts have been built by Jharkhand Police Housing Corporation Limited over an area of 150 acre.
The Jharkhand Jaguars were raised after a 2009 directive from the Centre, asking rebel-hit states to set up their own forces on the lines Andhra’s Greyhound. A couple of months back, the state government had sought a grant of Rs 100 crore to set up permanent facilities for the STF.
At present, 17 battalions (comprising 102 companies) of CRPF and two units of special strike force Cobra have joined the state police in the fight against Maoists.
Two additional CRPF battalions are supposed to join them. They are to be stationed along the Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh border and the forests of Netarhat, Baresand and Burhapahar, besides at Simdega and Gumla districts.
In January, Maoists broke a nine-month-long lull after a landmine blast killed 13 policemen in Chhattisgarh bordering Garhwa district. Now, operations against PLFI, a Maoist breakaway group, are on since October 8 in districts of Khunti, Gumla and Simdega .