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`Focus on better governance at village level to tackle Naxals`

The Centre today told Maoist-affected states to focus on PESA guidelines and strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism.



New Delhi: In a move aimed at checking the
growth of Naxalism through greater involvement of government
at the village level, the Centre today told Maoist-affected
states to focus on PESA guidelines and strengthen Panchayati
Raj Institutions in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism.

In a letter written to all Chief Secretaries of
states, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has urged the Naxal
affected states to ensure proper implementation of the
guidelines issued under Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled
Areas ) Act, 1996 (PESA), a government release said.

"The ministry has urged them to take all necessary
steps that are required to check the deepening and widening of
extremism in PESA areas," it added.

The ministry also underlined the need to activate gram
sabhas in a mission mode for resolving disputes, supervising
land acquisition and assess the impact and delimitation of
villages.

The direction comes in the backdrop of reports that
Naxals have been involved in settling local disputes in the
rural areas and thereby acting as an alternative grievance
redressal machinery, which helps them deepen their base in
villages.

The states have been also asked to empower the gram
sabha and ensure its effective functioning, while also
undertaking special programmes to acquaint them of their
rights and duties.

They have also been advised to conduct regular
training programmes on PESA for state and panchayat
functionaries to sensitise and educate them on PESA with focus
on the role and conduct of the gram sabha.

PTI

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