Govt to use "national power" against Maoists

Government will use any element of its "national power" against Maoists under a new policy to deal with the extremists and not hold peace talks with them till they renounce violence and express faith in democracy.

PTI| Updated: Oct 17, 2014, 23:30 PM IST

New Delhi: Government will use any element of its "national power" against Maoists under a new policy to deal with the extremists and not hold peace talks with them till they renounce violence and express faith in democracy.

This strategy has been envisaged in the policy formulated by the NDA government to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE)and circulated to all the nine Maoist-affected states.

"The State is duty-bound to resolutely deal with the Maoist violence and reserves the right to use any element of its national power against the outfit as the situation warrants," acording to the policy devised by the Home Ministry.

The policy, however, does not mention whether use of Armed Forces is an option to fight the naxals.

The new policy says experience of previous counter- insurgency campaigns in states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura suggest that state police should take the lead in the campaign with support from Central forces.

"The LWE affected states will take the lead in the counter-insurgency campaign with support from the Central Armed Police Forces. The CAPFs have the responsibility of holding the counter-insurgency grid together, operating seamlessly across state borders in coordination with the state police forces," the policy said.

The government will consider any offer of talks from the CPI(Maoists) once they renounce violence as the means of capturing state power and express faith in the democratic process, it added.

The government's counter-insurgency paradigm will be balanced and holistic with multi-pronged interventions in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities and public perception management.

The policy will come into effect after formal approval by the Union Cabinet.

Winning the hearts and minds of the tribal population and other marginalised groups will lie at the core of the counter- insurgency strategy of the state and all security and development-related interventions will revolve around this aspect.

In the worst LWE affected areas, security interventions will be followed by development interventions; in moderately affected areas, both the interventions will go hand in hand and in less affected areas, development interventions will take the precedence, the policy said.

The policy suggests that two adjoining Naxal-affected states will have more frequent interaction and if necessary, one-to-one meetings at the highest political level.

"In many of the states, the Unified Command set up at the apex level and headed by Chief Minister or Chief Secretary does not meet regularly.

"In the worst left-wing extremism affected areas, security interventions will be followed by development interventions; in moderately affected areas, both the interventions will go hand in hand and in less affected areas, development interventions will take precedence," the policy says.

It has also been specified that recruitments in CAPFs will have a much higher proportion of tribal youth from the Maoist affected areas and special recruitment rallies will be convened in these areas.

"The CAPF personnel deployed in LWE affected areas would be given incentives on par with the maximum prevailing levels -- those available in Jammu and Kashmir," the document says.

Another feature of the policy is that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will visit the crime scenes of all serious offences committed by Maoists in the future.