The recent abduction of a district collector in Orissa by Naxals has exposed the poor presence of government machinery personnel in the Naxal-affected states to combat the menace.
A home ministry official, who did not want to be quoted, told Business Standard: “Huge vacancies in the administrative set-up and large-scale absenteeism have been reported from the Naxal-affected areas. There are over 94,800 vacancies to be filled up as on December 31, 2010, by these states. These are indicative of poor presence of government machinery in the affected areas. Such trends would further alienate the people and render the entire exercise of countering Naxalism futile.”
Of the 94,800 vacancies, as many as 33,000 alone are from Andhra Pradesh, 18,000 in Jharkhand, 14,000 in Maharashtra, 12,300 in West Bengal, 5,000 in Orissa, 4,500 in Bihar and 3,500 in Chhattisgarh. States have communicated to the home ministry that most of these posts would be filled up during the calendar year 2011. However, these states, at a recent meeting addressed by the Prime Minister, were told to expedite the recruitment and training of police personnel, the official said.
The official insisted that states needed to fill up vacancies, especially at the lower level, on a priority basis. “States have been suggested that preference be given to locals during recruitment.
They were also told to examine relaxation of certain recruitment norms.” According to the official, states have also been asked to explore the option of appointment of persons on a contract basis.
Furthermore, states have been told to put in place various incentive schemes for the officials posted in these areas at the earliest. The incentives could include higher salary, official accommodation and early promotion.
The official said the Centre on its behalf had revised recruitment guidelines to allow 40 per cent recruitments in central paramilitary forces from the border areas and areas affected by militancy or naxalism.
|VACANCIES IN STATE POLICE FORCE|
|State||Steps being taken||Vacancies as on Dec 31,’10|
|Jharkhand||10,000 under recruitment||18,000|
|Chhattisgarh||Will be filled in 2011||3,500|
|Orissa||Will be filled in 2011||5,000|
|West Bengal||7,000 will complete training and join the force this year||5,000|
|Bihar||12,000 under training||4,500|
|Andhra Pradesh||1,200 sub-inspectors are under training. Other vacancies not indicated||33,000|
|Source : Ministry of Home Affairs|
This step has been taken in order to wean away the potential youth from taking the path of militancy or naxalism.
Moreover, 10 battalions of specialised force trained and equipped for counter insurgency and jungle warfare operations named Commando Battalion for Resolute Action are being raised as a part of the Central Reserve Police Force during 2008-09 to 2010-11. In 2008-09, two battalions were raised, one each at Jagadlpur (Chhattisgarh) and Korapu (Orissa). The next year, four battalions were raised comprising one each at Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Gaya (Bihar) and Bhandara (Maharashtra).