Evolve a policy to tackle Maoists: Centre to states | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Evolve a policy to tackle Maoists: Centre to states

The Centre asks states to put in place a generous resettlement and rehabilitation policy to ensure that Maoists do not find willing supporters amongst villagers, reports Aloke Tikku.

delhi Updated: Apr 27, 2007 03:28 IST

Months after the Maoists laid bare their strategy at a conclave early this year, the Centre on Thursday asked states to put in place a generous resettlement and rehabilitation policy to ensure Maoists do not find willing supporters amongst villagers who lose their farmland to mega projects.

The Centre also advised chief secretaries and directors general of police of 12 naxal-affected states at the coordination committee meeting on Thursday to keep their eyes and ears open.

More than a hundred Maoist leaders from 16 states had converged in the forests in the border area of Jharkhand and Orissa to attend the conclave that went on for several days. That the security agencies did not have a clue about the conclave is believed to have prompted the home ministry to ask the states to pull up their socks.

“The States were urged to keep a constant watch on the movement of naxal groups, their weaponry, training camps, hideouts, sources of weapons and funds, areas of current activity and areas in which they plan to spread violence and activity,” a Union home ministry spokesman said.

It was at this meeting in January-February that the Maoists decided to move from the hinterland to urban areas and reaffirmed their faith in agrarian revolution as the axis of a protracted people’s war. The context for this reaffirmation was the move in almost two-dozen states to set up 250 Special Economic Zones and conversion of farmlands into industrial zones.

Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta is also understood to have stressed on filling vacancies at the grassroot level of the district administration especially in rural and tribal areas to ensure that the developmental agenda of the government was not neglected.

Accelerating development in naxal-affected districts along with police action against Maoists has been a part of the home ministry’s “multi-pronged strategy”.

Thursday’s meeting, however, coincided with a parliamentary panel tabling its report that made it clear that states had failed on this count. There had been no perceptible change in terms of the socio-economic conditions in naxal-affected areas, the report submitted to Parliament said. The committee chaired by Sushma Swaraj also tried to drive home the point that a unified command was needed to deal with naxalism that posed the gravest threat to national security.