PM to meet CMs of Maoist-hit states, stress on development

A day-long meeting of chief ministers of Maoist-affected states will be addressed by PM on Wednesday.

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of unabated Maoist violence, a day-long meeting of chief ministers of seven Maoist-affected states will be held here Wednesday where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to offer central help for bolstering security and accelerating developmental schemes in the affected areas.

"The Centre will elaborate on its carrot and stick policy. The prime minister will offer central help in tightening security and restoring administrative control in the Maoist-hit areas. Deployment of paramilitary forces, assistance for acquisition of weapons and training to state security personnel are some of the proposals," a senior security official said.

Alongwith tightening of the security measures, the prime minister is expected to offer special developmental incentives for these states to wean away the people in the affected areas from the influence of the Leftwing extremists, the official said. Jobs, financial assistance, educational and health facilities will be the focus.

Besides Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram will be addressing the meeting. The Prime Minister will hear detailed reports from the chief ministers on the prevailing situation in Maoist-hit areas in their states, the official said.

Chidambaram will report about the recent trends in Maoist violence and the measures initiated by the union government, the official said. Re-deployment of paramilitary forces in the Maoist-hit areas was proposed by Chidambaram during the release of the monthly report card of the home ministry on June 30.

The meeting will be attended by chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar. Jharkhand, which is under President`s Rule, will be represented by the governor. Officials of the home ministry and senior security officials will also attend.

The meeting will be held at the official residence of Manmohan Singh - 7, Race Course Road.

The Prime Minister has several times identified Leftwing extremist violence as the "gravest threat to country`s internal security". In all, about 10,000 people, including security personnel, civilians and rebels have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the country during the past five years.

Maoists have intensified their attacks in the past months killing dozens of security personnel, special police officers (SPOs) and civilians, branding some of them as "informers".

In the worst-ever Maoist attack since independence, the Leftist rebels shot dead 75 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and a state police constable in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh April 6.

On June 30, Maoists killed 27 CRPF troopers in Narayanpur district in Chhattisgarh. Earlier on May 17, Maoists blasted a passenger bus in Dantewada killing 14 SPOs.

The meeting assumes importance in the light of the increasing number of casualties in Maoist-related incidents, pointed out the official. While 1,737 people died in 2007 in Maoist-linked incidents, the figure rose to 1,769 in 2008 and to 2,372 in 2009.

"The intensity of the Maoist violence is felt higher this year. Like the Dantewada massacre in which 76 security personnel were killed and the train blast in Jhargram in West Bengal May 28, in which 148 people were killed," said the official.

On July 6, in a new pattern of attacks in urban areas, Maoists attacked the house of Congress leader Avdesh Singh Gautam in Bastar. Two people were killed in the attack.


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