New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday called for the choking of financial resources of the left-wing extremist groups and said it was the fundamental instrument to counter the Maoist violence.
Chairing a meeting of top officials and chief ministers of 10 Naxal affected states, the home minister spoke about the many steps required to counter the guerrillas and said there should be immediate measures such as choking their finances.
Rajnath also called for a more proactive approach to deal with left-wing extremism.He asked the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) states to take ‘ownership’ in leading operations against Maoists and added that central armed police forces would actively coordinate with them. He also asked the CAPF personnel to learn and respect the local customs and traditions of tribals, wherever they are posted. As of now 118 battalions of CAPFs, a little over a lakh, are posted in LWE affected states.
“Today we need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of any incident or we should be more proactive,” he said.
The Home Minister added that left-wing extremist groups were trying to weaken democracy in the country but would “never succeed” in doing so.
He also called for increasing use of technology in security operations and to counter left-wing extremism.
He also said unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be pressed into service to bust their hideouts. Since extremists use looted weapons, we need to have trackers in the weapons, embed biometrics in triggers and have unique identification numbers in explosive material,” he said.
“We need to use UAVs, PTZ cameras, GPS tracking, Thermal imaging, Radar and satellite images. There is a need to chalk out a specific action plan for each theatre with short term, medium term & long term strategies clearly defined,” he said.
Highlighting the need for motivation and training, the Home Minister said there was a need to improve the training and other facilities at the camps.
“The residential camps of security forces should be well equipped with power and water facility and better connectivity. We need to ensure that security forces must adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures,” he said.
Around 12,000 people had lost their lives to Maoist violence in last 20 years, he said, expressing ‘confidence that together, with the new strategy and new force, we will confront the Naxals and will be successful against them’.
The home minister called for a strategic and unified command of all states to have a ‘unity for purpose’.
“I am convinced that their martyrdom will not go in vain. The day is not far when this mindless violence will end.”
Following the April 24 Sukma attack, the government had vowed to review its anti-Maoist policy. The Central Reserve Police Force had moved its strategic command headquarters for anti-Maoist operations from “Kolkata to Chhattisgarh”.
The day-long meeting on Monday is also being attended by the secretaries of the union ministries, besides chief secretaries and police chiefs of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, a Home Ministry statement said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Telangana’s K.C. Rao and Andhra Pradesh’s N. Chandrababu Naidu did not attend.
“A holistic review of the situation will be undertaken covering a wide canvas of security and development issues, particularly infrastructure building,” the statement said.
It said issues like role of states in assisting paramilitary forces in their operations, raising and employment of India Reserve Battalions and Special India Reserve Battalion were expected to be part of the discussion.
It would take stock of capacity building and intelligence issues like vacancies in state police forces, capacity building of state intelligence units and other ministry-wise related matters.