A high-level review by the Centre revealed on Tuesday a grim picture of the execution of pro-poor initiatives in 33 Maoist-affected districts even as the security establishment firmly held on to its “clear, hold and develop” strategy to deal with the rebels.
Dantewada, the Chhattisgarh district where Maoists killed 75 CRPF personnel last week, has not even achieved 1 per cent of its target of land ownership rights, a review by cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar revealed on Tuesday.
Bijapur, another Maoist-affected area, similarly achieved 0 per cent implementation in extending health services in the district. This district, however, achieved 100 per cent of its targets vis-à-vis implementation of the forest law.
A Planning Commission study in 2007 mapped basic indicators such as literacy, infant mortality and households without specified assets. It found tribals in the affected districts lagged behind in most parameters, which created the vacuum the Maoists sought to fill.
A home ministry official said the Centre intended to make the district-wise review more rigorous to nudge state governments to deliver on development initiatives. Many believe that this is the only long-term response to create a stake for the tribals in governance.
In the short and medium term, use of police force would be a key component of the anti-Maoist strategy: forces led by central police personnel focussing on identified inter-state corridors and the state police leading the operations in each state.
“Our approach would be to move slowly and steadily,” a home ministry official said.
NSG training CRPF
The Centre on Tuesday started training 500 CRPF men to carry out operations in remote areas by rappelling down helicopters.
CRPF special director-general Vijay Raman said the jawans were being trained by National Security Guard officials in Jamshedpur.