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Naxal-infested states plan to minimise civilian toll

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 28: Effective steps to minimise civilian casualties in Maoist attacks will dominate the proceedings of a crucial meeting of Naxal-infested states being held here on March 31.

The meeting is convened by the Union Home Ministry in the context of rise in Naxal attacks in the past two months, claiming many civilian lives.

It is expected to come out with a fool-proof strategy in the fight against Naxalism with inter-state links and also links with the CPI(Maoists) in Nepal.

What worries the Union Home Ministry is the series of Naxal attacks in the recent past in which civilians were targeted.

The meeting presided over by Union Home Secretary V K Duggal, would be attended by Chief Secretaries or Home Secretaries and Directors General of Police in the 13 Naxalism-infested states.

It is slated to discuss different routes by which the state governments could extend help to the emerging anti-Naxal movements like "Salva Jadum" at the local level in different parts of Chhattisgarh and elsewhere.

The focus of discussion would be the pattern of recent violent Naxalite incidents in Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, and measures to be taken to prevent any future move to disrupt law and order situation by the Maoists. Strengthening of combing operations in the jungles known for Naxalite activities would also be discussed at the meeting.

The Centre is expected to advise the state governments to effectively deploy the Central forces available with them to tackle the Naxal violence.

Though the Centre is willing to extend whatever assistance was required by the states for effective handling of Naxalism, it seems disappointed over the manner in which the Central forces at their disposal were not made maximum use of.

The meeting would also discuss the special arrangements to be made for the yatra being led by BJP leader L K Advani from April six in the context of the fact that the yatra passes through some sensitive Naxal-dominated areas.

A Home Ministry spokesman said the Naxalism-infested states would review the progress in the intelligence sharing system and the protection to be extended to the supporters of "Salva Jadum" movement against the Naxals which is gaining momentum in many tribal hamlets, especially in Chhattisgarh.


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