CRPF boss lauds Tripura role

Agartala, Dec. 18: The Union home ministry has recognised Tripura as a model state in combating insurgency.

"The way insurgency was tackled by security forces under the Tripura government between 1992 and 1993 has been accepted as an example everywhere in India," director-general, CRPF, Pranay Sahay, said while speaking to the reporters this morning. There was no possibility of insurgency resurfacing in the state in a big way, he added.

"Stray incidents like an abduction here and one killing there may happen but nothing big has happened since the Bangladesh government cracked down on bases of anti-Indian insurgents in that country," said Sahay, who arrived here to inaugurate 175 CRPF officers quarter complexes as well as to oversee the security situation in the state in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Tripura in February 2013. Sahay had begun his career as an IPS officer in Tripura and held different positions, including that of DGP before joining the CRPF as DGP and in the process he had gathered considerable experience in fighting insurgency.

Sahay said activities of Naxalites are the biggest concern for the governments in states and Centre in terms of internal security. "More than 36 per cent of our forces are currently engaged in anti-Naxalite operations and we have procured sophisticated arms and ammunition, including unmanned anti-mine vehicles for movement in Naxalite-infested areas; this is giving good results; besides, 28 per cent of our forces are deployed in different states of the Northeast and rest deployed for internal security in various states, including Kashmir, are doing a good job," said Sahay, adding that during operations, the CRPF never violated human rights.

He said the CRPF already has three exclusive women battalions and 10 Rapid Action Force (RAF) for riot control and elite 10 battalions of COBRA for fighting insurgency. "But we are planning to raise more battalions, specially for women to face various situations more effectively; this is needed more in Maoist-infested areas," said Sahay.

On the pre-poll security scenario in Tripura, Sahay said it is "perfectly peaceful so far" according to feedback he received through the CRPF channels. "Our role in any election is determined by the Election Commission within certain parameters and we also try to do our best; this time also the Election Commission will require forces from the Union home ministry and, accordingly, the Union home ministry will issue directives to us to send forces to Tripura; that will be done in compliance with the order."

Before leaving the state this morning, Sahay met chief minister Manik Sarkar and chief secretary S.K. Panda to apprise them of the CRPF's role and preparedness for election duty in the upcoming Assembly polls.