Unarmed 'Secret Force' Coming Up In MP's Maoist-Hit Areas With Multiple Roles

(MENAFN- IANS) By Praveen Dwivedi
Bhopal, May 28 (IANS) Aimed to having a strong grip over Maoist-hit districts - Balaghat, Mandla, and Dindori, the Madhya Pradesh government is in the process of establishing an unarmed force - the Vishesh Sahyog Dasta (Special Support Squad) - in the region.
The 'Dasta' would be a non-policing staff of local tribal youths, who will be given special training by the police and will be tasked to keep close watch on activities of suspects and to pass the information to the security forces secretly through a channel set up. The structure will be in the line of area commander, zonal incharge and a central command.
As per the officials, local tribal youths will be given most priority on the line of Chhattisgarh's District Reserve Guard (DRG), but the working pattern will be completely different. The functioning of the new group be directly supervised by the state police's Intelligence Department.
The process of recruitment has already been initiated as an experiment in one of these three districts that are covered under the 'Security Related Expenditure (SRE)' scheme, which funds focused operations against the rebels in 70 LWE-affected districts in 10 states.
In its classification list released in 2021, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs included Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh among the '25 Most Affected Districts' across eight Indian states. In addition, Mandla was identified as one among the 'Districts of Concern' among eight districts from six states.
According to IGP Intelligence Anurag, the idea of the 'Vishesh Sahyog Dasta' is to connect the tribals living in Maoist-hit areas into mainstream of development. The new system will also be utilised for implementing community policing, and the youths will be encourage to join police and security services.
Anurag (who uses a single name), a 2003 batch IPS officer, said with development of road connectivity in dense forests have strengthened the grip of security forces a lot, but still there is need to reach to the people who are highly dominated by Maoists. He said that Vishesh Sahyog Dasta will be a multi-tasking unit.
"It would be non-policing staff of local youths with sound minds, who will be creating impression among people living in Maoist-affected areas that they are being used by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) to excute their plans on the direction of the anti-national forces. After getting recruited, they will be given special training by the police. It would a non-armed secret force will be functioning through a proper set up channel," the IGP told IANS.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra claimed the activities of Maoists have reduced as the security forces have successfully targetted their shelters and have eliminated their top leaders in the past one and a half decade.
According to data from the state Home Department, a total 11 dreaded Maoists were eliminated by state Hawk Force between 2008 to 2021. The Hawk Force, a specialised force deployed on anti-Maoist duty, is drawn up mainly from the state armed police and its personnel get an additional hardship allowance for serving in Maoist areas.
"Further, in the past one and a half year, as many as eight Maoists having reward of more than Rs 1 crore were killed by Hawk Force of MP police. The more important is have strong willpower to take challenges and without any compromise with anti-national people. Our moto is very clear that no compromise will done when it comes to matter of the security of people," Mishra added.
However, Maoists still remained a challenge in Madhya Pradesh as they have developed strong grip in the Balaghat, Dindori, and Mandla districts. A senior IPS officer posted with the state Home Department, said the LWE outfits are operating with a single motto to create unrest in the country.
"Despite the Maoists' disappointment with the failure of their efforts to expand and strengthen their cadres in Madhya Pradesh, their surviving operational capacities cannot simply be disregarded. Rather, preemptive action is necessary to thwart the residual Maoist threat in the state," the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
"They (LWE) are being funded by foreign countries and they are brainwashing tribals using various mathods - social, economically and in the name of religion. As thease outfits have been operating for last several decades and have achieved strong domination among tribals, they won't stop easily," the officer told IANS.
He claimed that many well-meaning liberals fall prey to the Maoist propaganda without understanding the true nature of their insurgency doctrine which glorifies violence and believes in adopting a militant line to capture power.
"The majority of the civilians killed are tribals, often branded as 'police informers' before being brutally tortured and killed. In fact, the tribal and the economically underprivileged sections, whose cause the Maoists claim to espouse, have been the biggest victims of the so-called 'protracted peoples war' of the CPI-Maoist against the Indian state. This is all a conspiracy to weaken India and to create a hurdle in the path of its growth," the official said.



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