The Centre’s first cut of the policy on dealing with the Maoist challenge gives it the right to use all necessary force against the Maoists but balances the hardline approach by focusing on tribal welfare.
“The state is duty-bound to resolutely deal with the Maoist violence and reserves the right to use any element of its national power against the outfit,” the draft policy cleared by home minister Rajnath Singh said.
The policy is the first attempt to coherently, and comprehensively spell out the national policy against Maoists. While it was in the opposition, the BJP had often targeted the previous UPA government for the absence of a central policy. A source conceded the policy — to be circulated in all Maoist-affected states and central ministries — was as much of a strategy vision as a political document. The draft policy asks states and district SPs to take the lead in the counter-insurgency campaign with support from the Central Armed Police Forces.
“The CAPFs have the responsibility of holding the counter-insurgency grid together, operating seamlessly across state borders in coordination with the state police forces,” the Centre’s counter-insurgency policy said.
The policy counts on government interventions in four areas, namely security, development, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities and public perception management.
In the new format, the Centre intends to extensively focus on 23 districts that account for 80% of Maoist violence. The primary response in these districts will be a security approach. In moderately-affected districts, on the other hand, the security and development response will go hand in hand. Government sources said many elements of the new policy were already under implementation. For instance, the policy recognises that the first step towards checking Maoist violence was reviving, strengthening or starting new police stations.