Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday met leaders from seven Naxal-affected states to chalk out a fresh strategy to curb Left-wing extremism.
The day-long meeting of the chief ministers of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar is expected to deliberate on the situation arising out of the recent Maoist violence and will chalk out a strategy to curb Left-wing extremism, official sources said.
While Jharkhand, which is under President's Rule, is being represented by its governor, West Bengal has sent its Health Minister for the meeting.
The Prime Minister, who had described the Naxal menace as a grave threat to internal security, will hear the views of the chief ministers on the issue.
The meeting comes in the wake of a spurt in Naxal attacks. The ultras have killed at least 100 policemen in Chhattisgarh since April and derailed an express train in West Bengal that claimed the lives of nearly 150 people.
Government has been maintaining that accelerated development and calibrated police action are the two pillars of its anti-Naxal policy.
According to an estimate, about 40,000 sq km areas in Naxal-affected states are under the control of Maoists.
Naxal violence has claimed the lives of over 10,000 civilians and security personnel in the last five years.
Out of a total of 10,268 casualties between 2005 and May 2010, 2,372 deaths have been reported in 2009 as against 1,769 in 2008 and 1,737 in 2007.
Besides, Naxals targeted 362 telephone towers, many school buildings, roads, culverts etc. in 2009 alone.