The much-awaited 'Bastariya' battalion of the CRPF, created for the first-time with over 540 tribal youth from Chhattisgarh, will be commissioned into service by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh next week.
Singh will attend the passing out parade of the 543 young recruits, including 189 women combatants, at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) training centre at Ambikapur in the central Indian state on May 21.
The hardcore and localised battalion of these young combatants will be immediately deployed for anti-Naxal operations in some of the worst Left Wing Extremism-hit areas like Sukma, Dantewada and Bijapur, a senior official said.
The unique battalion -- recruitedfrom Sukma, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bijapur districts of undivided Bastar -- have been raised with a specific purpose to sharpen and strengthen the security forces' operations in the areas where they have been witnessing maximum reverses for a number of years owing to lack of good local intelligence and familiarisation with the locals and the topography.
The battalion is named 'Bastariya' as its members are from the Bastar region that falls in the southern part of Chhattisgarh, bordering Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana, said the official who did not wish to be named.
On May 21, the troops will get their ranks of constables and take up arms against the Naxals, like regular security forces personnel, he said.
The recruits have been trained for about a year in jungle warfare, weapons firing, map reading, police laws and unarmed combat, the official said.
The total strength of the 'Bastariya' battalion will be 743 personnel and include some of the young but regular combat personnel besides officers to ensure a blend of both young blood and experience.
These new personnel will be deployed as small 'hit' teams, along with regular CRPF and CoBRA battalions, for operations and other duties in south Bastar, the official said.
The Home Minister, after attending the passing out event, will hold an LWE review meeting in state capital Raipur before returning to Delhi.
The Centre had sanctioned the raising of battalion under the CRPF in July last year. The concept to raise the team was mooted with the aim that the recruits, mostly tribals, will help address local issues like unemployment, provide tactical advantage to CRPF in operations, intelligence collection and language benefits.
The CRPF is the lead anti-Naxal operations force of the country and has deployed over 35,000 personnel for these tasks in Chhattisgarh alone.
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