Jairam for tribal-friendly development to fight Maoists

January 25th, 2012 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Jan 25 (IANS) Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday called for political mobilisation and a sensitive tribal-friendly development strategy in the Maoist-affected areas to fight the menace in the country.

“The prime minister has described Maoism as India’s most serious internal security challenge… I believe that this challenge can be met if we follow a three-pillar strategy,” Ramesh told reporters after a three-day visit to West Bengal.

He said the first pillar was the political pillar. “Without political activity, without political mobilization, we are not going to win the war against the Maoists.”

“Political activities should not be exclusionary…all political parties should have day-to-day political activities. That will reduce the distance between the people and the government,” he said.

The minister, who visited Maoist-dominated Purulia and Bankura, said the development strategy in the Maoist-affected areas should be tribal-friendly.

“You must have a sensitive tribal-friendly development strategy. Our forest administration, mining policy and land acquisition policy is anti-tribal. It is no wonder that almost all the tribal areas in India are in a state of discontent,” he said.

“The third (pillar) is police and paramilitary forces. The frontline has to be the political activity backed by development,” he said.

According to the minister, 17 districts of Jharkhand, 18 districts in Orissa and 10 districts in Chhattisgarh were most affected by the Maoist menace.

He said the Maoist problems in West Bengal were “not as serious as that in western Jharkhand and southern Chhattisgarh”. “But we cannot relax,” he added.

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