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PM to chair anti-Naxal meet

The PM, sources said, was keen that the government should initiate tough measures to deal with the Naxal violence.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 00:48 IST

On April 13, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chairs a standing committee of chief ministers of Naxal-affected states, his message will be tough: there's no way state governments can go down on their knees in the fight against Naxalism.

Last Tuesday, Singh reviewed the Naxal situation with senior officials of the PMO and the ministries of home and defence. Singh was given a detailed presentation on the Naxal violence, particularly the recent incidents where Naxals attacked jails.

The PM, sources said, was keen that the government should initiate tough measures to deal with the Naxal violence. The Centre will direct the CMs of the 12 Naxal-infested states to constitute a "dedicated force" to fight Naxals. This new force could be on lines of the Grey Hound commandos in Andhra Pradesh which is used exclusively for anti-Naxal operations. The scheme will be fully funded by the Home Ministry.

The government is keen that Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar, which bear the brunt of Naxal attacks, should work fast on their anti-Naxal units. In the case of Andhra, the home ministry will suggest that the strength of Grey Hounds be substantially increased from the existing 1,312.

"The fact that the PM himself decided to chair the meeting of Naxal-affected states shows the gravity of the problem and also the Government's concern,'' a top home ministry official said.