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Chidambaram for revisiting CRPF deployment

Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: A day after Maoists killed 27 CRPF personnel in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said the deployment of the CRPF by the State government should be “revisited'' depending on either “operational or developmental'' requirements.

“It is the State government which decides the deployment of the CRPF and the present deployment was decided in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The objective of deployment is either operational or developmental. My view is that if there is no operational requirement, Central forces be deployed elsewhere. It is a process which is under constant review,'' Mr. Chidambaram told reporters at his Ministry's monthly stock-taking press conference.

The Minister said Maoists on Tuesday attacked a road opening party of the CRPF that was three km short of its camp.

“Whether the CRPF personnel violated any Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or not will be known only after CRPF Director General returns from Narayanpur and a preliminary inquiry is completed. I feel deeply saddened by the loss of 27 lives of CRPF jawans,'' he said. Tuesday's attack came after nearly three months after the deadly Dantewada strike in which 75 CRPF personnel were killed.

“Difficult” areas

Mr. Chidambaram said Bastar, Dantewada and Narayanpur were some of most “difficult'' areas in Chhattisgarh and it was a “fair inference'' that the Central forces would come under attack. “We have to constantly review the deployment of the para-military forces, so that they are not exposed to Naxalite attacks. We have to see where these camps are located; we have to close some camps and strengthen others. All this is under constant review.''

Referring to the Group of Minister (GoM) on the Bhopal gas leak disaster headed by him, he said the GoM held five meetings between June 18 and 21 and submitted a report to the Prime Minister.

“I am confident that the recommendations will be implemented in accordance with the timelines approved by the Cabinet,'' he added.

Asked about a report in TheHindu on June 26 that refuted the GoM's claim on the former Union Carbide chief, Warren Anderson's 1984 visit to India, he said: “It was TheHindu's interpretation, not the GoM's conclusion.''

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