No talks with Naxals: Govt
The government today ruled out holding any talks with Naxalites but said a balanced approach will be adopted in close coordination with states to tackle the violence perpetrated by Maoists.
New Delhi: The government today ruled out holding any talks with Naxalites but said a balanced approach will be adopted in close coordination with states to tackle the violence perpetrated by Maoists.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the top civil and police brass of ten Maoist-hit states that enough funds will be provided to equip and modernise their respective police forces and asked them to give a fitting reply if the Maoists try to challenge their authority.
"There is no question of any talks now. We will take a balanced approach. But the forces will give a befitting reply if the Naxals launch attacks," Singh told reporters after chairing a high-level meeting.
Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and chiefs of paramilitary forces like CRPF and BSF and top officials of the Home Ministry attended the meeting.
This was for the first time that the new Home Minister was briefed by each of the states about the Maoist menace in their respective areas as Singh spelled out the priorities of the NDA government.
A Home Ministry official later said talks with the Maoists will be held only when the rebels shun violence and come forward for dialogue.
During the meeting, the Home Minister asked all states to adopt a uniform and concerted approach to tackle the Maoist movement. The states assured him of their full support to the central government`s initiatives in this regard, the official said.
Singh said that the Home Ministry will fully fund formation of special forces on the lines of the elite anti- Naxal force Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh and initially such squads will come up in the four states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar.
The nearly four-hour long meeting also decided that the central government will micro-manage the ongoing road construction works in Naxal-affected states for their better and time-bound completion.
Singh told the states that his ministry will ask the Finance Ministry to double the funds provided under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme from the next financial year.
The Integrated Action Plan (IAP) funds will be used for skill development initiatives, the sources said at present, the Centre grants Rs 30 crore to each district in an year under IAP. There are 88 naxal-hit districts.
In the meeting, Jharkhand and Bihar were asked to strengthen their fight against the Naxals as their success rate was poor as compared to states like Odisha and Maharashtra which have been termed as `model` states in tackling the red ultras.
Similar initiatives were sought for Chhattisgarh too.
The Home Minister also directed the states to task the officials of their border districts to interact with their counterparts on the other side of the border at least once a month to plan and strategise operations and other issues in an effective manner.