Centre to spend Rs 500 crore for Naxal-hit areas: Patil

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Hyderabad, Sep 12 (UNI) In a bid to wean away the youth from the Left-wing extremist movement, the Union Government has decided to implement a Rs 500 crore Centrally-sponsored scheme during the Eleventh Plan in extremist-infested States to hasten economic development, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said.

Talking to reporters here after inspecting a ceremonial parade at the prestigious Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy as part of its Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Mr Patil said the scheme would focus on infrastructure development in these areas and generate more job opportunities for youth and wean them away from extremist activities.

''The Centre has taken a small step to spend Rs 500 crore on infrastructure development and this will have a big impact on overall development of the region'', he observed.

Patting Andhra Pradesh government for curbing Naxal activities, he noted that insurgency had come down by 60 to 70 per cent in the state in the last four-and-half years and wanted other Naxal-hit states to follow suit.

He wanted the states to strengthen and modernise their police force to ensure peace and security which was imperative for economic development.

The Centre was finalising plans to modernise paramilitary forces to meet the increasing security challenges faced by the country, the Union Minister added.

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