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Army to help fight rebels

Police are gearing up for an all-out attack on Maoists, who are trying hard to strengthen their base in their influential pockets, especially in south and central Bihar.

The police headquarters has decided to recruit retired army officers in the rank of junior commissioned officer (JCO) and non-commissioned officer (NCO) to impart training in jungle warfare to the police personnel deployed in Maoist-hit districts of the state.

Three counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism (CIAT) schools located in Gaya, Dehri-on-Sone (Rohtas) and Dumraon (Buxar) were being equipped for the purpose. The state government set up these training centres with the central assistance for its anti-Maoist operations.

“There are almost 40 per cent vacancies in the NCO- and the JCO-rank army officials, who are hired as professional trainers at these schools. The police headquarters is in the process of filling up the vacant posts of the trainers,” inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar said.

Senior officers at the police headquarters were in touch with those of the army headquarters to complete the necessary formalities. “Letters have been shot off and applications invited from eligible ex-army officials,” he added.

The specialised training would focus on carrying out operations in the areas considered to be hotbed of the rebels even during the night. Night vision devices have already been provided to the state police force.

“Earlier, the operations were launched in the daytime and the security personnel had to return to their bases before sunset,” he said.

The shift in the strategy to deal with the Maoist activities was aimed at giving befitting reply to the extremists, who, of late, have intensified the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in their operations to cause maximum damage to the security forces.

“The security forces, which till now were on the defensive, would also go offensive. And for the purpose, proper training of police personnel is required. If need arises, we will engage trainers of Bihar Military Police as well,” Amit Kumar, who is also heading the state’s anti-Maoist cell, said.

The special auxiliary police (SAP), which was created about six years ago to tame rebel activities and professional criminal gangs, has failed to meet the expectations of people. “The very purpose of raising the SAP, comprising retired soldiers, seems to have been defeated,” a senior police officer said.


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