The Centre is expected to invite chief ministers of Naxal-affected areas to make presentations before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), ahead of finalising the government’s blueprint to face the Naxal challenge.
At its last meeting, the top security panel had decided against raising the involvement of the armed forces in anti-Naxal operations.
Officials said this decision meant that everyone, particularly the states, would have to redouble their efforts to deal with Maoists, the country’s biggest internal security challenge.
“We need to get our act together to ensure that Maoists are not able to accentuate the perceived deprivation of the tribals and expand their area of influence,” an official said.
Apart from continuing operations, a key to this endeavour would be accelerating developmental activities in districts under Naxal influence.
“The idea (of inviting CMs) was that something shouldn’t be decided in Delhi that the CMs would later not be able to implement,” an official said, pointing that invitations could be sent after the CCS firmed up a tentative plan.
Given the shortage of security personnel, the ministry is considering plans to encourage states to increase the number of Special Police Officers recruited from local able bodied men under the Indian Police Act.
Besides raising the number of SPOs from the existing 13,566, the ministry is also going to double the monthly honorarium to Rs 3,000 reimbursed to states for each SPO.
In view of the defence ministry’s refusal to spare the two dozen helicopters required for logistic support during anti-Naxal operations, the home ministry proposes to hire choppers from the market. This time we are going to seek the choppers on wet lease so that the ministry is not bogged down by problems relating to crew or maintenance issues, an official said.