Special forces to guard camps from Maoists

March 27th, 2008 - 3:19 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, March 27 (IANS) Special Security Bureau (SSB) personnel will now guard people in 23 government-run camps in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region from Maoist attacks, officials said Thursday. The SSB will take over from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) the job of protecting about 48,000 people living in the camps.

“One battalion of the SSB has already reached Chhattisgarh to replace the CRPF to protect relief camps while more will come soon,” an official in the state police headquarters here told IANS.

He said: “The CRPF jawans (troopers) to be relieved from relief camps’ security task will be moved to deep interiors in Bastar’s 40,000 sq km forested areas where rebels are traditionally strong.”

The official said that presently 36,991 people from 201 villages in Dantewada district and 10,949 people from 275 villages in neighbouring Bijapur district are living in relief camps.

The mass exodus of villagers of these two districts began after they launched a civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, in June 2005 to take on the Maoist insurgents.

The banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) carried out several deadly attacks on relief camps in both Dantewada and Bijpaur districts and the government was forced to deploy the CRPF to protect inhabitants.

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