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Rajnath Singh calls for unified command and aggressive action against Maoists

09 May, 2017, 07:51 | Author: Caleb Marshall
  • Demonetisation helped choke Maoist funds Home Secretary

Pointing out highly regrettable acts of the Maoists, the Home Minister said 12,000 citizens had lost their lives in the violent activities of the left-wing extremists of whom 2,700 were jawans of the security forces while the remaining 9,300 were innocent and common people.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chairs a meeting with CMs of left wing extremism-hit states and other ministers in Delhi. He added that the foundational principle of the government's strategy to deal with "left-wing extremism" - called Samadhan - is financially choking the Maoists. "Today we need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of any incident or [whether] we should be more proactive".

The Home Minister added that the left-wing extremist groups were trying to weaken democracy in the country but would "never succeed" in doing so.

He has suggested the use of technologies and gadgets like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones), pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, Global Positioning System tracking and thermal imaging to track Naxalite movement in states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

"It would be advisable to have trackers in weapons, as well as biometrics in smart gun triggers - as a tracker can locate a looted weapon wherever it is taken or used, while biometrics can make a smart gun useless for anyone other than the authorised user". There were no shortcuts to success, he said, underscoring the need for short term, medium term and long term policies at different levels.

He also told reporters: "The whole country is agitated over the martyrdom of 25 CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] personnel in Sukma".

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

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Stating that "extremely defensive deployment" may result in a reduction of "operational offensive", Singh emphasised that "states take the ownership of LWE operations and CAPFs cooperate with them fully".

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar criticised the Centre for stopping funds for crucial schemes to fight Naxals and for refusing the state's request for a helicopter for quick deployment of forces in anti-Maoist operations.

"We need to use high resolution cameras, Global Positioning System, thermal imaging, radar and satellite images".

He also mentioned that the Centre has deployed 118 battalions of paramilitary forces to assist states in fighting Maoists.

Singh had termed the attack as direct "challenge to the government" and vowed to hunt down the attackers. The Central Reserve Police Force had moved its strategic command headquarters for anti-Maoist operations from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh.

An official statement said the states sought continuation of LWE specific schemes like Security Related Expenditure (SRE), Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), Integrated Action Plan (IAP).

The command office has been tasked with strategizing on launching joint operations with the Indian Air Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the state police along the southern tip of Bastar in Chhattisgarh where its border meets with Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, all of which are affected by Maoist violence.

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