No dilution in dealing with Naxals: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, May 3 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said there is no dilution in the government's two-pronged policy to deal with the Naxal menace.

Addressing a meeting of the Home Ministry's Consultative Committee here, Chidambaram asserted that accelerated development and calibrated police action continued to be the two pillars of the government's anti-Naxal policy.

He pointed out that on both fronts, the primary responsibility rests with the State Governments, although the Centre would have an important role to play.

"On the front of police action, the Centre has to provide paramilitary forces to the State Government, but it is the officers of the State Police who have to lead the operations," Chidambaram said.

"Success of the operations largely depends on the soundness of the plans, prepared by the State Government and its efficient implementation," he added.

On the developmental front, Chidambaram said while the Centre provides substantial funds to the State Government under various schemes, the machinery to implement the schemes and utilize the funds rests under the control of the State Governments.

He pointed out that nearly a-third of the funds provided to the 35 worst affected Naxal districts under developmental schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) , Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGVY), National Rural Drinking Water Supply Programme (NRDWSP), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Indira Awas Yojana, etc., remained unutilized.

"There are also questions about whether the money spent actually reached the intended beneficiaries," he said.

Chidambaram said it is important to secure Naxal-affected areas for apprehending Naxal leaders, restoring civil administration and bringing about development there.

Chidambaram asserted that Naxals do not want development of the tribal-dominated areas. This is clear from the wantonness with which they have been destroying the developmental infrastructure.

In 2009 alone, Naxals targeted 362 telephone towers, school buildings, roads, culverts, etc.

Refuting allegations that security forces are working with obsolete weapons, Chidambaram said the Centre has equipped its paramilitary forces deployed in Naxal-affected areas with the latest weapons.

"State Governments have also started acquiring modern weapons, but they have some distance to go," he said.

Chidambaram said the main area of concern is the lack of required manpower, as the vacancy level in State police forces is very high.

"These vacancies need to be filled up quickly and the recruited personnel need to be imparted necessary training before they can be deployed for anti-Naxal operations," he said.

Members suggested to include greater involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions in developmental activities, improving the service conditions of para-military force personnel and promoting cordial relations between local people and security forces. (ANI)

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