Joint operations against maoists: P Chidambaram

Home Minister reviewed anti-Naxal operations in Orissa and Chhattisgarh with the Chief Ministers of the two states and offered the Centre`s full support to them.

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2011, 21:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday
reviewed anti-Naxal operations in Orissa and Chhattisgarh with
the Chief Ministers of the two states and offered the Centre`s
full support to them to face the challenge of Maoists.

After the hour-long meeting with Chief Ministers Naveen
Patnaik and Raman Singh, Chidambaram said joint operations of
central and state police forces would be launched against the
maoists along the inter-state borders.

"We have made very clear that no operation will be
conducted without the complements of state police. Earlier
practice has completely been discontinued for a year and a
half. Now, all operations are conducted by the paramilitary
forces with the complements of state police. All operations
are now joint operations," he said.

The Home Minister said violence and the number of
casualties have been reduced considerably in areas falling
under 270 police stations in 64 districts in 8 states.

"Upto June 14, 2011, there have been 811 incidents (1025
last year) resulting in 270 deaths (473 last year). Of the 270
persons who were killed, 190 were civilians (296 last year)
and 80 personnel of the security forces (177 last year)," he
said at a press conference.

The Home Minister said CPI (Maoist) and other Left Wing
Extremist groups continue to target civilians and kill them
after branding them as `police informers` and of the 190
civilians killed this year, 72 were branded as police
informers.

Chidambaram said in today`s meeting, they reviewed the
situation in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, especially the areas
along the border of the two States.

"We are not making public what will be our strategy. The
Central government has offered its full support to the two
state governments to face the challenge of Left Wing Extremism
through the two-pronged strategy of development and police
action," Chidambaram said, adding, the request for additional
support to the two state governments would be met.

Referring to the joint operations, the Home Minister said
there is an Inspector General of Police (operations) in Orissa
and there is an Inspector General of Police (operations) in
Chhattisgarh exclusively for anti-Naxal operations.

"The CRPF has an IG based in Chhattisgarh and also
another CRPF IG based in Orissa exclusively for these
operations. Control rooms were established and connected with
state headquarters and it is the two IGs who decide the
operations and below that company commanders and local police
work together," he said.

The Home Minister said Left Wing Extremist groups also
continue to target infrastructure and businesses and this year
there were 13 attacks on railway property, 18 telephone
exchanges and towers were attacked, four panchayat bhavans and
12 school buildings were destroyed and 82 roads and culverts
were also damaged.

"Our security forces have confronted the challenge of
Left Wing Extremists with courage and restraint. There have
been 125 encounters between security forces and Left Wing
Extremists and 78 extremists have been neutralised. Besides,
883 extremists have been arrested, 243 have surrendered and
315 arms have been recovered.

PTI