Naxalism-hit states resolve for uniform approach



New Delhi: Maoism-hit states on Wednesday resolved to take a uniform approach to deal with the Naxal problem besides launching all-out offensives against the extremists and blocking the flow of finance to them.

At a session of nine Naxal-affected states, convened by the Home Ministry, the states for the first time agreed to take a uniform approach and jointly launch inter-state operations.

However, Army and Air Force will not be used in the fight against the Maoist menace which has taken a dangerous turn in recent months, official sources said.

To check flow of extortion money to Naxals, the states decided to abandon the present system of allowing contractors to collect 'tendu' leaves (used for making bidis) and the state governments themselves will collect the leaves.

Sources said the Maoists often extort money from the contractors engaged in 'tendu' leaves collection.

The nine states agreed to adopt the model of Andhra Pradesh in fighting the Naxals through which the southern state has been successful in wiping out the Maoists from most parts of the state.

Andhra Pradesh had given stress on strengthening intelligence gathering mechanism, enhanced role of local police stations, made efforts for penetration in Maoist hierarchy and the special Greyhounds forces took lead role.

It was decided in the meeting that the state forces will take the lead role while central forces will assist them.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde presided over the meeting while chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar, Governor of Jharkhand and representatives of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal took part.

PTI