January 22, 2021 4:22:05 am
Against the backdrop of an attack on a convoy of BJP president JP Nadda in West Bengal in December, CRPF DG AP Maheshwari Thursday said the force has taken all steps to “empower” its commandos deployed for security duties of VIPs and that they have “plugged the gaps”. Nadda enjoys Z plus security of the CRPF.
“We have improved our VIP security skills. We are following the best security standards… we are working to match our skills with the best standards of the SPG,” he said at a press meet here.
Regarding the incident in which some BJP leaders were injured, he said, “Whatever happened in the outer ring is in the domain of the state government and I believe the authorities concerned are doing their job. We have a security system in place and have the capability of carrying out our VIP from such situations safe and secure.”
Maheshwari said the CRPF has gone into “past data and trends” to see areas where security can be improved, and is in touch with all stakeholders involved in this task, including the state police forces.
The CRPF at present has 62 VIPs under its cover, including Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and former PM Manmohan Singh.
Apart from the CRPF, CISF and NSG provide such cover under the central VIP protection charter.
The CRPF chief said that aspects of “upgrading technology for surveillance or assessment or in organising an armed or tactical response” have been worked upon. “I can assure that it is as best as it can be.”
The CRPF is also “considering” inducting women soldiers into its elite jungle warfare force, the CoBRA. The CoBRA battalions largely engage with Maoists in the interiors of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. “We already have a unit of women commandos who have been pressed into combat duties in Bastar. Now we are considering inducting them into CoBRA,” Maheshwari said.
He also said that in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces had killed 215 terrorists, including Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo, in the past one year. Regarding Left Wing Extremism, he said 340 Maoists were made to surrender in 2020 and added that CRPF established bases in 18 forward areas of which four each are in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
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