Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Naxal problem can't be solved through 'silver bullets': Rajnath Singh

DG R R Bhatnagar DG K K Sharma DG Archana Ramasundaram at the meeting of Maoist-hit states in New Delhi on Monday. Renuka Puri DG R R Bhatnagar DG K K Sharma DG Archana Ramasundaram at the meeting of Maoist-hit states in New Delhi on Monday. Renuka Puri
Kelvin Reese | 09 May, 2017, 10:12

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan did not attend the meeting and were represented by their home ministers or senior officials.

He added that the whole country was angry about the Sukma attack in which 25 CRPF jawans were killed, The Indian Express reported. He said, LWE cadres are constantly trying to inflict losses on security forces to boost the morale of their cadres and in this situation, there is a need to be more proactive rather than reacting after the occurrence of the incident.

He said the newly formed "Bastaria battalions" comprising local tribal people will be a game-changer in the fight against the Left wing extremists.

"We need to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras, Global Positioning System tracking, thermal imaging, radar and satellite images".

Speaking to the press after the day-long meeting, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said nearly all the States had demanded the continuation or revival of centrally sponsored security related schemes.

"I am convinced that their martyrdom will not go in vain".

Talking about the welfare of securitymen deployed in Naxal-affected areas, who often face fatigue and stress, the home minister said it was important that their camps have better facilities for power, water and mobile phone connectivity.

Singh also said the Maoists could not be dealt with only by force but by long-term and short-term solutions. "We need to use high-resolution PTZ cameras, Global Positioning System tracking, hand-held thermal imaging, radar and satellite imaging", he said.

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Mr. Nitish Kumar in his address pointed out that Centre had declined Bihar's request for a helicopter for quick deployment of forces in anti-Maoist operations and suggested that the State share a chopper with Jharkhand.

States also sought including new districts under these schemes.

Following the April 24 Sukma attack, the government had vowed to review its anti-Maoist policy.

Singh asserted that the extremists claimed to work for welfare of the neglected people in the remote areas but they are actually anti-development as they target not only the security forces but also public property like roads, culverts, railway tracks, electricity assets and telephone towers, hospitals and schools. The Central Reserve Police Force had moved its strategic command headquarters for anti-Maoist operations from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh.

"We have to ensure", he added, "that the states take the ownership in the anti-Naxal operations where Central Armed Police Force will cooperate fully".

The day-long meeting on Monday was also attended by the Secretaries of the union ministries, besides Chief Secretaries and police chiefs, according to an official statement.

Issues related to inter-State coordination, intelligence sharing, setting up of Joint Task Forces for operations along inter-State boundaries were deliberated upon.

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