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Nepal Naxals worry CMs

When the chief ministers of Naxal-infested states came together in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, they didn't just talk about the menace in their own backyards.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 02:10 IST

When the chief ministers of Naxal-infested states came together in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, they didn't just talk about the menace in their own backyards. Most of them also expressed concern over the growing influence of Maoists from neighbouring Nepal and felt that if not checked, they could easily infiltrate and make matters a lot worse for India.

Bihar's Nitish Kumar and Chhattisgarh's Raman Singh said there was immediate danger of CPN (Maoist) cadres crossing over to India and making Naxalism a nationwide phenomenon. Raising the issue, Nitish said the spillover was only a matter of time as the two countries shared an extremely porous border. According to sources, Nitish urged the Centre to initiate immediate measures to stop this.

The Bihar CM isn't the only one concerned on this front. Even intelligence agencies have warned the government that CPN (Maoist) cadres are very keen on extending greater support to their Indian associates. In fact, there are reports that some cadres have already infiltrated into Bihar and Uttaranchal.

Seconding Nitish, Raman demanded enhanced troop deployment along the border. "Raman Singh almost stopped short of demanding that the Indo-Nepal border be virtually sealed to check infiltration from Nepal," an official said.

Admitting that Naxals from Nepal posed a serious threat, the government agreed to revamp the deployment of paramilitary forces along the border. The ministry, which till now had been hinting at 'ideological links' between CPI (Maoist) and CPN (Maoist) cadres, admitted the two outfits provided training, arms and finances to each other.

Describing the problem as the biggest internal security challenge, the PM suggested a unified command and a dedicated task force on the lines of Andhra's Grey Hounds be formed. He suggested a two-pronged strategy of effective police response and socio-economic development of affected areas. "But effective police response doesn't mean we need to brutalise the states," he said.