CRPF to set up more ‘Forward Operating Bases’ in Maoist-hit areas soon

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Amid the shrinking footprints of Maoists in Chhattisgarh, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to set up more Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in the state soon to increase its operational dominance in the so-called ‘Red Corridor’ region there, officials said.

According to CRPF officials, the force has 34 operative FOBs in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) regions while it was decided to add up 25 more by the end of 2022.

“So far, 11 bases have been set up and the rest will be added up by the end of this year,” an official said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in March 2021, had tasked the CRPF to set up six FOBs each on Bheji-Chintagufa axis, Kistaram- Chintalnar axis, Basaguad-Pamed axis, Basaguda- Jagdargunda axis, and the Usoor-Pamed axis.

As per the force officials, the four FOBs – Elarmadugu, Kollaiguda, Karigundam, and Potakpalli – on the Bheji-Chintagufa axis have been set up while Minapa, Elmagunda and Mukram Nala on the Kistaram-Chintalnar axis, Tarrem and Mokur on Basaguad-Pamed axis, and Dharmavaram and Galgam on Usoor-Pamed axis have been established.

The CRPF officials said that the pending FOB at Silger on Basaguad-Pamed axis, T -Junction, Kunded, Bedre on Basaguda-Jagdargunda axis and Nabmi on Usoor-Pamed axis Awill be taken up this year.

Out of the proposed new bases, 10 will be set up in Chhattisgarh, six in Jharkhand, one each in Odisha and Telangana, seven in Maharashtra, including the Garhchiroli area, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.

The lands for constructing the FOBs have already been identified where work will begin soon, the officials said, adding that this will further help the force penetrate deep into the hardcore areas of Maoist dominance.

The FOBs will be better fortified while the security forces will be equipped with the latest weapons, bullet and land mine proof vehicles and better medical facilities.

A source in the operational team said that most of the casualties take place because late medical treatment causes deaths in many cases. So better medical treatment will be provided at these FOBs once set up in the operational areas, the source added.

As of now, only minor operations are being performed by the paramedics in most of the base camps, and in case of multiple bullet injuries or landmine blasts, the injured troopers are airlifted to the nearby bigger hospitals. The new FOBs will have better medical treatment facilities.

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