Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday admitted that Naxals have strengthened their position and stepped up violence of late.
Winding up a day-long tour of the Naxal-hit district of Gadchiroli, Chidambaram talking to reporters here candidly admitted that the ultras have enhanced their strength and carrying out more violence -- be it a blast or indiscriminate firing -- at their chosen date and place.
Security forces need to be alert all the time and careful in crossing roads and bridges while undertaking anti-Naxal operations, he said.
Chidambaram became the first Union Home Minister to visit Gadchiroli district in eastern Maharashtra which is surrounded by Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
He held a closed-door meeting on his arrival this morning with Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil, DGP D Shivananad and some top ranking revenue and police officials.
The Home Minister also flew to Mutrumgaon, a remote place in Dhanora taluka, to better understand ground realities.
Chidambaram's short visit, however, drew criticism from Deputy Collector Rajendra Kanphade who claimed that holding meeting in air conditioned rooms would not yield any results.