Centre to continue two-pronged approach to contain Naxals: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, April 23, (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said the government would continue to follow a two-pronged approach to deal with the Naxal problem.

Chidambaram was addressing the Home Ministry's consultative committee meeting on "Left Wing Extremism."

"Government will continue to follow its two-pronged approach of development and calibrated police action to deal with the Naxal problem," Chidambaram said.

He said the debate on what should take place first- development or police action- is misplaced.

"The decision will vary from situation to situation and from State to State and no fixed prescription is possible. In some areas, it may be possible to undertake some developmental activities, to be followed immediately by steps to strengthen security and in other areas, it may be necessary to first launch police action to regain control of the territory, followed by vigorous developmental activities," Chidambaram said.

Drawing attention of the committee to anti-development activities of Naxalites, Chidambaram said they have been destroying school buildings, roads, telephone towers etc. because development will wean away poor tribals from their grip.

He pointed out that in 2009 alone, Naxals destroyed 71 school buildings, the re-building of which may take years, depriving tribal children of education.

"A huge amount of money is being given to the State Governments for bringing about development in the 34 worst-affected Naxal districts under various programmes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme , Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, National Rural Drinking Water Supply Programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Indira Awas Yojana, etc," Chidambaram said

"However, utilization of the money is not always satisfactory," he added.

Chidambaram called for full and proper utilization of the funds, provided by the Centre for development of the Naxal-affected areas.

Taking part in the discussions, members supported the Government's two-pronged policy of development and police action to deal with the Naxal menace.

While stressing the need to improve the lives of poor tribal people through developmental activities, members said violence must be dealt with firmly.

The committee felt that without the help of local police and local people, it would be difficult to deal with the Naxal problem.

Some members suggested a visit by an all-party Parliamentary delegation to the Naxal-affected areas to win the trust and goodwill of tribal people.

Members also pointed out the need for good coordination between local police and central paramilitary forces and availability of actionable intelligence at the ground level. (ANI)

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