Bengaluru: The naxal attack on a Congress rally in Chhattisgarh has thrown light on the need to curb the naxal menace across the country. In Karnataka, Anti-Naxal Force (ANF), the premiere naxal combating force in the state, is functioning without a Commander and the post has been lying vacant for two months now.
When Alok Kumar became the city’s Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) on March 11, his predecessor Suneel Kumar T. was posted as the ANF Commander. Both transfers were quashed by the High Court, which ruled that transfers should come from the PEB. The government, acting on the PEB’s advice, transferred both officers without a recommendation for the ANF Commander’s post.
The force is being led by the Superintendent of Police P. Vasudeva Murthy, who will retire in June. 100 posts out of the 542 sanctioned to the ANF are lying vacant.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle on condition of anonymity, an ANF personnel said that the Force is directionless. “Naxals never had a chance to organise camps and recruit people, so the number in the state fell to 20,” he said. “It is difficult to operate in jungles, we need a leader who motivates the force and leads us from the front. If we become even slightly inactive, the naxal strength in the state will grow.”