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Govt to provide paramilitary forces to protect SAIL project

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Union Home Secretary R K Singh will soon convene a high- level meeting on a SAIL request to provide five battalions (5,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces to guard the Rowghat iron ore mines and take a decision on it.

Official sources said possibility of providing at least two battalions in first stage to guard the proposed project was high considering the huge economic prospect in the future and large presence of the Maoists in and around Rowghat which has huge reserves of iron ore.

SAIL has agreed to pay for the security forces.

The steel maker had approached the Home Ministry seeking its help for the development work of Rowghat mines, spread over 2,000 hectares and has over 500 million tonnes iron ore reserves.

Sources said the Union Home Ministry may give the job to the other central forces, like the BSF or the ITBP, as CRPF has extensively deployed more than 80 battalions (80,000 personnel) for anti-Naxal operations in the state and may not be able to spare more manpower.

Both Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Border Security Force already have the exposure of anti-Maoist duties as they have deployed their personnel in Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Around 90,000 personnel of paramilitary forces are now deployed in Naxal-hit states.

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First Published: Mon, June 25 2012. 18:35 IST