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‘Bastariya Battalion’ was well thought out decision: Rajnath

| | Ambikapur | in Raipur

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that establishing the Bastariya Battalion was a well thought out decision of the Central Government as it knew that tribals have an immense sense of patriotism as well as national pride.

He said that the Maoist leaders ensure their children receive education in reputed universities, while they mislead the children of poor tribal communities.

Singh was here to attend the Passing Out Parade of 241 Bastariya Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Home Minister lauded the efforts of CRPF and the State Police in combating the Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

Singh added, “The Left Wing Extremists want tribal people to remain poor forever as this suits their scheme and narrative. However, lifestyle of some Naxal leaders displays immense wealth and riches. While children of the Naxal leaders are studying in foreign universities, they mislead children of poor. But we have decided that all those Naxal leaders who have amassed ill gotten wealth by using poor people and manipulating their innocence, will be punished in severe manner”.

“Naxalism is a challenge, but I want to say that this menace is now shrinking and is losing ground. The casualties in security forces have declined by almost 53 to 55 percent. Geographical expanse of Naxalism has also diminished by 40 to 45 percent. The credit for this achievement goes to the CRPF jawans and State Police”, added the Home Minister.

Stressing that development is the most potent weapon to fight the sinister intent of Naxals who mislead people, he said, “I know that Dr Raman Singh, Chief Minister of  Chhattisgarh is trying to ensure overall development of the State who has foccussed on developing the remotest areas of the State to ensure inclusive development”.

However, Maoists do not want these areas to develop as they very well know that if development takes place, their sinister plan will never succeed, he said.

The Home Minister added, “We have been ensuring road connectivity, electricity and other infrastructure to every village in the State. Some villages are still deprived of electricity and the people are suffering due to hurdles created by the Naxals. But I want to assure that no obstacle  can stop the development process in these areas”.

Appreciating the work done and sacrifices made by the security forces, Rajnath Singh said, “No amount of money can compensate the loss of life of our jawans.

But we have certain responsibility towards the families of those who sacrifice their lives in the service of the nation. Keeping this in mind we decided that not less than one crore rupees should be given to the family of the martyred jawan as a token of our gratitude”.

Notably, ‘Bastariya Battalion’ that came into existence on April 1, 2017, has been created to enhance local representation in CRPF’s combat lay-out in the Bastar area besides providing the ‘Bastariya’ youths a full-proof platform for employment. Accordingly, its recruitment process too carried some unique features.

While the physical standards of height and weight were relaxed to give a fair chance to the local aspirants, CRPF also walked yet another extra mile to provide pre-educational and physical training to the local youths through Civic Action Programmes so as to maximize their ability and eligibility for induction into the special formation, he said.

The ‘Bastariya’ jawans will be deployed in core area to add teeth to the anti-Naxal operations of CRPF in the naxal-infested Bastar division of Chhattisgarh. Numbered 241, this new  battalion of CRPF carries the moniker ‘Bastariya Battalion’ for the special reason  that it comprises  of youths, mostly scouted from the four highly naxal infested Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukmadistricts  of Chhattisgarh. Another remarkable feature of the battalion is itsaqequate female representation which is in sync with the Government’s policy of 33% reservation for women.

Though the sanctioned strength of this innovative battalion is 743, yet in the first phase as many as 739 candidate were selected in a special recruitment drive between mid-October 2016 to late January 2017, conducted by the CRPF in the Bastar region. However, finally a total of 534 candidatesincluding 189 female recruits underwent specialized training at ATC Bilaspur and ATC Ambikapur spanning over 44 long weeks.

The training included guerilla warfare, camouflage, living off the land and all those tricks of the trade that involve jungle operations. These jawans, after the PoP, will be deployed in the core areas of Chattisgarh to fight the naxals alongside the normal GD Battalion and CoBRA Batallions of CRPF.

 The ‘Bastariya Battalion’ that came into existence on April 1, 2017, has been created to enhance local representation in CRPF’s combat lay-out in the Bastar area besides providing the ‘Bastriya’ youths a full-proof platform for employment.

Accordingly, its recruitment process too carried some unique features.

While the physical standards of height and weight were relaxed to give a fair chance to the local aspirants, CRPF also walked yet another extra mile to provide pre-educational and physical training to the local youths through Civic Action Programmes so as to maximize their ability and eligibility for induction into the  special  formation .

Armed with about a year’s rigorous training and so many years of geo-spatial experience of their own soil, these combat-ready jawans of CRPF are all poised to switch from their training ground to the battle ground in Bastar.

 
 
 
 
 

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