An eight-point plan to give a hard push to the security and development agenda of the government's anti-Naxal strategy was cleared by the seven worst-affected states at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.
Naxals kill three persons every day.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the problem could be overcome in the medium to long run. The chief ministers were also very confident about this, with support from the Centre.
The home minister said the states had unanimously approved the eight items passed by the Cabinet Committee on Security earlier, including the central plan to induct over 20 helicopters for anti-Naxal duty.
Chidambaram said the helicopters would be inducted after they come back from the UN peacekeeping missions where they are currently deployed.
These would not, however, be used to conduct operations against Naxals, as demanded by some states. The home minister told reporters after the meeting that the government had decided to use them for logistic support, troop movement, supplies and evacuation only.
The Centre will also fund the establishment and strengthening of 400 police stations in the affected districts at the rate of Rs 2 crore per police station over a period of two years. Home ministry officials said the states would have to contribute one-fifth of the projected cost of Rs 800 crore and ensure that at least 40 police personnel are deployed at each such police station.
Chidambaram, who had requested chief ministers and representatives of states to recommend fresh initiatives, said some additional ideas had come up at the meeting.
These include a significant expansion of the list of 35 districts that are treated as high-focus districts on account of the level of violence. These districts qualify for additional funding from the Centre.
Some states wanted permission for more liberal use of satellite phones in view of poor connectivity in remote areas.
Chidambaram said the government would also examine requests that the army conduct special recruitment of local youth into the police forces and raise the number of counter insurgency schools.