50,000 Army personnel to fight naxalites
The Government of India is thinking of drafting the Army for the anti-naxal offensive and the Indian Army has started preparing for the task of tackling the naxal menace which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls India’s gravest internal security threat.
Army Headquarters has drawn up a plan to keep about 50,000 soldiers – approximately 5 divisions – in readiness to help the civilian authorities deal with the growing Naxal threat. A training programme, especially designed to meet the challenge that the Left wing extremists pose, has been drawn up, with the Lucknow-based Central Command being given the task of readying the soldiers for what could potentially be the single-biggest internal mobilisation outside the insurgency-ravaged J&K and the northeast.
The rigorous training schedule aims to re-orient troops, conditioned to fight hostile nations as well as insurgents of J&K and northeast, for a battle which is to be fought in the heartland and against an enemy adept at blending into the population.