PC visits Gadchiroli, says Naxals have strengthened position

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday visited the Maoist stronghold of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra after which he said the Naxals of late have strengthened their position that led to rise in incidents of violence.

Nagpur: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram
on Tuesday visited the Maoist stronghold of Gadchiroli district in
Maharashtra after which he said the Naxals of late have
strengthened their position that led to rise in incidents of
violence.

As Chidambaram, who became the first Union Home
Minister to visit the Maoist infested district, reviewed
anti-naxal operations, a state bureaucrat courted controversy
alleging that such "high profile" visits would not yield any
"results" or solve Naxal problem.
Gadchiroli`s Additional District Collector Rajendra
Kanpadhe also flayed the Centre`s anti-naxal strategies and
said the state police should decide whether or not
paramilitary forces are required to deal with Maoist menace.
Gadchiroli, which is about 200 km from here, is surrounded by
Naxal-affected areas of Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

After winding up a day-long tour of the district,
Chidambaram told reporters here that the Naxals have enhanced
their strength and were carrying out more violence, be it a
blast or indiscriminate firing, at a place and date chosen by
them.

He said the security forces needed to be alert all the
time and careful in crossing roads and bridges while
undertaking anti-Naxal operations.

Chidambaram held a closed-door meeting with high
ranking officials in Gadchiroli to assess the preparedness of
the security forces in tackling the Naxal menace.

He held a meeting with Maharashtra Home Minister R R
Patil, Minister of State for Home, Pratik Patil and State
Director General of Police D Sivanandan along with other
senior officers from revenue and police department

57-year-old Kanpadhe, who is from Maharashtra
Administrative Service, while referring to Chidambaram`s visit
told reporters, "such high-profile visits will not yield any
results or solve the Naxal problem.

If you hold a meeting in air-conditioned room and visit
the Naxal-affected areas in choppers, how do you know the
ground realities."
Central paramilitary forces have been deployed in
Gadchiroli for anti-naxal operations.

Kanpadhe, who is known in official circles for his
stinging criticism of anti-naxal strategies and
anti-government stance, said, "Paramilitary forces should
immediately be removed and if necessary they should be called
only after local police requires their help.

The state police should be strengthened, given more
facilities and more authority. Bringing paramilitary forces
will not help them. The local police should decide whether
paramilitary forces are required or not."

Kanpadhe shot into limelight when he volunteered to go
into the naxal infested Binagonda in Bhamragarh taluk in the
district a few months back without security and returned
unscathed. There was a security scare when he remained
untraceable for a day. He was denied security on grounds of
shortage of police personnel.

PTI

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