The UPA government will try to evolve a consensus among states on how to best tackle left wing extremism at the chief ministers’ conference on internal security on Wednesday as it believes that Maoists even now have the core capability to launch spectacular attacks like the May 25 attack on Congress leaders in Bastar district.
According to the 28-page agenda note circulated by the home ministry, the centrally ruled Jharkhand is the worst-affected state followed by Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal. While there was a marginal increase in incidents of Naxalite violence in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in 2012, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal registered a decrease, with no change of situation in Jharkhand and Odisha.
Calling left wing extremism by far the most serious internal security challenge before the country, the note puts the primary onus of tackling Naxalites on state governments with the Centre promising to assist them as and when required. The Centre, however, has called for a greater need for coordination with the affected states at a time when Maoists have abjured calls for a dialogue and are bent on violence.
The note highlights a series of measures taken to prevent tribals from joining the Naxalite ranks. These include monitoring of implementation of flagship programmes.
In a related development, the Cabinet cleared a R3,046 crore plan to set up 2,199 mobile towers in nine states affected by naxal violence to improve communication. Government-owned BSNL will set up towers in the nine states in next 12 months. The decision came days after the Maoist attack in Bastar.