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Friday, July 14, 2006

Wanted! A chief for Anti-Naxal Force

Wanted! A chief for Anti-Naxal ForceThursday June 29 2006 11:45 IST
BANGALORE: The Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) is badly in need of a leader. Any one willing to risk their life may apply for the post, as none of the IPS officers of the rank of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the State are willing to take up the responsibility.The Government is keeping its hand crossed as no one is ready to go to Udupi, headquarters of the newly-constituted squad. The ANF was set up by the Dharam Singh Government last year to check Maoist activities in the State, especially in the Western Ghats and Tumkur district. DIG Jayaprakash V Nayak was its first Chief Commandant.However, Nayak himself was embroiled in a controversy when he went on a tour to the United States without handing over charge. Later, the Government shifted him and posted another officer.But the transfer order was cancelled in a jiffy, forcing the government to bring back Nayak as its head.When the ANF failed to make headway in reining in the naxalites, the Government again shunted out Nayak on June 2, without assigning him another post.Sources admitted that though the government offered the job to two officers, after the transfer of Nayak in a bid to overhaul the squad, both declined.Sources in the Home Department told this paper that the Government is in a fix as none of the DIG rank officers are ready to take up the work, despite the lucrative pay package, including special perks and other facilities.Sources said that some officials agreed to take up the duty but they wanted the headquarters shifted to Mangalore or Bangalore from Udupi. The Government struck down this suggestion, making it clear that the base should be close to the operational area.A senior officer said: "Of the 139 IPS officers in Karnataka, 21 of them are of DIG rank and several have had a stint in the CRPF, BSF and United Nations Peace Keeping Mission Force abroad. But when it came to a mission on the home turf, it was sad that none were ready to accept it."

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