The government’s strategy to counter Maoists and Naxalites would be state-specific and not uniform, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said while reiterating the Centre’s willingness to talk to the rebels if they abjure violence.
“It has to be state-specific,’’ he said at a seminar on Insurgency, Human Rights and the Media, in which his co-panelists were noted civil rights activists K.G. Kannabiran, Gautam Navlakha and Shabnam Hashmi.
As the government grapples with the Maoist problem in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and other states, Pillai discounted the hype on police operation and spoke of using limited forces.
“The government is trying to identify areas where the civil administration does not exist. Clear directions have been given to the CRPF and other paramilitary forces not to fire if the other side does not. We are also telling state governments to depute their good and efficient officers who can push development in these areas,’’ said Pillai, his remarks an admission that out-of-favour officers are normally posted in such areas.
The Centre’s unstated objective: isolate Maoists and create a stake for people in development by building roads, schools or primary health centres in areas of least connectivity.
Pillai wanted inclusiveness built into the system and called on other states to emulate Jharkhand that withdrew nearly one lakh petty cases against tribals for violation of forest laws.
The seminar was organised by the Delhi chapter of the Indian edition of South Asia Free Media Association.