Maoism continues to be major problem: PM

May 22nd, 2012 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday described Maoism as continuing to be “a major problem” and sought cooperation from the states in tackling the menace.

“The scourge of Naxalism (Maoism) … continues to be a major problem and I seek the cooperation of the concerned state governments to tackle this menace,” he said after releasing his government’s report at his Race Course Road residence here on the United Progressive Alliance’s third anniversary.

However, the prime minister sounded happy over the internal security situation, saying it has been “by and large satisfactory”.

Manmohan Singh highlighted the peaceful conduct of panchayat elections in Kashmir as one of his government’s achievement and said: “The high voter turnout shows that things are changing in the state.”

The report released by the prime minister noted that the “government’s approach is to deal with left-wing extremism in a holistic manner, in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights of local communities, good governance and public perception.”

State governments deal with various issues related to the activities of left-wing extremists in states and the central government supplements their efforts through a wide range of schemes.

“Implementation of the integrated action plan continued for providing public infrastructure and services in select tribal and backward districts most of which are affected by left wing extremism. The plan, which was being implemented in 60 districts, has been extended to 78 districts,” the prime minister said.

To give a push to development works in areas affected by left-wing extremism, the government approved the formation of 10 new specialised India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) and conversion of three previously sanctioned IRBs into specialised IRBs.

“These battalions have both security as well as engineering formations to remove any hindrance in executing developmental works,” he added.

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