The Centre has deputed 70 IPS officers of IG level (Inspector General of Police) to assist the Election Commission in ensuring free and fair elections in the insurgency-prone constituencies.
A majority of these IPS officers will be deputed in the Maoist affected regions of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Their brief is to oversee the deployment of paramilitary forces and coordinate and conduct operations with the help of the state police to defeat Maoist' designs to carry out political assassinations and enforce their writ among tribals to boycott polls.
About 30-odd IPS officers will also be sent to Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir to handle threats from insurgent groups like ULFA, PLA, UNLF, NDFB etc, sources in the Election Commission told dna.
Taking the Maoist threat very seriously, the Centre has rushed in 6,000 troops, mainly comprising of commandos from the elite Greyhound force of Andhra Pradesh, CRPF's CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) and the Special Task Force (STF) to carry out precision strikes against Maoist in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region and surrounding border areas of Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra.
The Centre's decision comes in the wake of a recent strike by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district that claimed 16 lives as well as intelligence inputs of more such attacks. "They have been asked to start intelligence based precision strikes in the next couple of days and especially go after the PLGA companies of CPI (Maoist)," home ministry sources told dna.
The commandos will be aided by air reconnaissance carried out simultaneously by four Israeli herons. These troops are in addition to the 90,000 central security personnel currently engaged in anti-Naxal operations in five states — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra.