New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security
on Thursday approved a new plan to counter Maoists in the backdrop
of a Jharkhand police Inspector being beheaded by the Maoists,
even as the Defence Ministry said it was studying an IAF
proposal to open fire at Left-wing extremists in self-defence.
The CCS meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, here reviewed the situation and debated ways to deal
with the problem and gave the clearance to the plan, a day
after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram warned the Maoists to
"abjure" violence or face action, top government sources said.
Defence Minister A K Antony, meanwhile, told reporters on
the sidelines of an Air Force Day event in the capital that
the Ministry was still studying the IAF request to permit it
to open fire on Maoists in self-defence, if required.
"However, the Ministry doesn`t want to enhance the role
of the armed forces in the anti-naxal operations more than
what it is doing at present," Antony said.
He also clarified that the IAF proposal, made a week ago,
was still pending with the defence Ministry and that it has
not yet been put up before the CCS.
Earlier in the day, IAF Chief P V Naik said the Air Force
would deploy its Garud Special Forces Commandos on the
choppers operating in naxal-affected areas to man the guns to
be mounted on the helicopters.
He also said the IAF Commandos will not do "Rambo-style"
operations and that they would only be protecting the IAF
assets, men and women deployed in Maoists-hit areas.