Centre promises naxal-hit states full support to combat menace

January 7th, 2009 - 6:49 pm ICT by ANI  

P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, Jan 7 (ANI): The government has offered its full support to states grappling with the Maoist problem.
In a meeting with Home Minister P. Chidambaram here today, Chief Ministers of seven states - Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal, severely affected by Maoist violence put forth their problems and were assured of support, both in terms of development and security.
The meeting comes a day after a conference of all state chief ministers, where Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called for adopting a proper strategy to deal with the Maoist problem, described as the country’’s biggest internal security threat.
With 13 of India’’s 29 states affected by Maoist violence, the insurgency’’s intensification over the last two years is attracting both national and international attention.
Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal has said that the government will do whatever is necessary to help these states combat the menace.
“We have listened to the problems and demands of all the seven states. We will think over their problems. The government would take all necessary steps whether on security front or on development front to combat the menace. But we think, only by tackling security front, the issue cannot be solved, when security and development, both fronts are taken into account then only the problem can be solved,” said Jaiswal.
The Chief Ministers said they seemed satisfied with the government’’s assurances and added that using force alone cannot curb the menace. Development was required in villages to prevent the villagers from helping the Maoists.
“Force would be needed because they have large quantity of arms with them. But before that there is a need to work towards the development of the villages as well. Once the requirements of the villagers are fulfilled, they will not entertain these people,” said Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren.
Over 70 districts in the country are affected by Left wing extremism, which has been described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a “virus” and the biggest internal security threat.
In continuing naxal violence in around a dozen states, over 400 people, including over 150 security men, have been killed so far this year.
The Government recently approved formation of a 10,000-strong special anti-Naxal force ””COBRA”” — Combat Battalion for Resolute Action — to tackle the menace.
In another decision, the Union Cabinet approved creation of 48 new posts of Special Directors General, Additional Directors General and Inspectors General in various central police organisations keeping in view functional necessity.
These posts will strengthen the supervisory structure of these organisations for better command and control. (ANI)

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