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Chhattisgarh DGP not listening: CRPF Special Director-General Vijay Raman

Posted by Admin on July 17, 2010

Chhattisgarh DGP not listening –
3456813473_VijayRaman3_2.jpg Photo: Sanjay Ahlawat

NAXAL THREAT

INTERVIEW/CRPF SPECIAL DIRECTOR-GENERAL VIJAY RAMAN

By Syed Nazakat, The Week

CRPF Special Director-General Vijay Raman is in charge of the biggest anti-Naxal offensive underway in the Maoist-hit states. Raman, who commands over 60,000 personnel, is dealing with what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called “India’s biggest internal security challenge”.
During his posting in Kashmir, he was known for his aggressive tactics. The one thing Raman cherishes about his days in Kashmir is that he managed to develop and protect a group of informers. “That, unfortunately, is not happening in the Naxal-affected areas,” Raman told THE WEEK in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:

What are the challenges you face?
The challenge is to make state governments take the lead. We will provide them full support like it is happening in Maharashtra, where the police take action and we provide support.

You said local intelligence gathering is not working in Naxal-affected areas.
The key to defeat any armed insurgency is information. The police play a key role in information gathering. If we have information, even a big leader like Kishanji could be tracked.

He is the most wanted man.
He is the top man. The aim of the security agencies should be to identify such people and remove them.

Why have you failed to develop an intelligence mechanism?
We have not been able to reach out to the tribal people. Whatever impression these poor tribal people have about the government is the one propagated by the Naxals. We cannot win this battle just by force.

Are you looking at a time frame to deal with the Naxals?
There is no time frame. It is not practical to put a time frame. One thing we are certain of is that we have to sort out the problem by adopting a holistic approach.

What is your strategy?
Our strategy is very clear and focused. Force and development should go hand-in-hand.
‘Operation Green Hunt’ has sent wrong signals to the common people.
This operation is a creation of Chhattisgarh’s director-general of police. I don’t subscribe to it. As far as the government of India is concerned, it doesn’t exit.

Does it frustrate that there is lack of cooperation between states.
If there is lack of cooperation, we are not going to win this battle against the Naxals.

Which is the most challenging state?
Definitely Chhattisgarh.

Why?
I think it is a personality issue.

Is it the clash between you and DGP of Chhattisgarh?
The DGP is not listening…. The point is when you are given an assignment the first thing you need to do is become a part of the solution. The illegal killings, for example, contributed to the problem. So if you are party to it then you become a part of the problem.

A US strategic think tank has warned the Naxals could take to urban terrorism.
There is nothing surprising in this assessment. The overall objective of the Naxals is to capture power. They cannot do it by staying in the villages. They have to come to urban areas.

Many want the Army to intervene.
Any battalion that is inducted into the Naxal-affected area undergoes six weeks of training with the Army. But we don’t think it will be right to have them in the forefront.

Do you have enough manpower?
We have 60 battalions (around 60,000 men) deployed in the Naxal-affected areas. Unless we make maximum utilisation of the resources available to us, I’ve no moral right to ask for more weapons and manpower.

What is the strength of the Naxals?
Our assessment is that there are aro-und 10,000 to 15,000 armed Naxal-ites. They are ahead in terms of training and commitment to achieve their goal. Their greatest advantage is their expertise in explosives like IEDs.

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