Chhattisgarh CM moots idea of ‘Dandakaranya’ battalion for tribal youth

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has suggested raising a ‘Dandakaranya’ battalion on the lines of the Naga regiment of Indian Army to facilitate entry of tribal youths from Maoist-hit Bastar in the armed forces.
“The CM made the suggestion while chairing the civil military cooperation meeting that concluded late last evening at New Mantralaya here,” a government spokesperson said today.
The Chief Minister said in the meeting that setting up of the battalion would not only help youth from the tribal-dominated Bastar division to serve their country after joining the Army, but it will also create job opportunity for them, he said.

Notably, Dandakaranya region, which spreads over the border districts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, is considered a stronghold of Naxals.

The first conference of military, civil administration and police after the state formation in 2000 had discussed enhancing employment opportunities for ex-servicemen.

The chief minister also pitched for providing special training to local youths ahead of organising Army recruitment drive so that they can do well in the selection process, he said.

State Director General of Police A N Upadhyay, Major General Central India Area Dharam Vir Singh Rana, Major General Central Command Lucknow Pradeep Raj Singh Chaudhary, Chhattisgarh and Odisha Sub Area Brigadier J S Sandhu and Special DGP (anti-Naxal operations) D M Awasthi, besides other senior police and administration officials were present in the meeting yesterday.