Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged on Monday that Maoist violence had increased and the government had failed to check Maoist influence effectively.
“We haven’t achieved as much success as we would have liked,” he said, addressing a gathering of the chiefs of central and state police forces on Tuesday. “It is a matter of concern that despite our best efforts, the level of violence in the affected states continues to rise.”
He also said that infiltration of terrorists into country — from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, in Nepal and Bangladesh and the 7,500 km coastline — was rising.
Singh said encounters with armed militants had become more frequent in recent weeks and militant groups within Jammu and Kashmir were once again trying to make common cause with outside elements.
But there appeared to be a nuanced shift in the government’s approach towards dealing with naxalism, especially in wake of the coordinated armed offensive planned against the naxals. Singh — who called Left Wing extremism as “perhaps, the gravest internal security threat” — said Naxalism could not be simply treated as a law and order problem and needed a holistic approach.
Last month, Home Minister P Chidambaram had outlined the government’s two-pronged approach of development and police action to deal with them at the chief ministers conference.