State Home Minister Jayant Patil on Tuesday said that it was a “war-like situation” in Naxalite-hit regions like Gadchiroli.
After two attacks on Feb-ruary 1 and May 21 on policemen, there was a need to change strategy while combating Naxalites.
Patil was replying to a discussion in the state Assembly initiated by the Opposition, on the recent attack by Naxalites in Gadchiroli that led to the death of 16 policemen.
In a bid to get the upper hand and launch an offensive, Patil said he had invited the home ministers of neighbouring Naxalite-hit states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on June 8.
They will brainstorm and launch simultaneous combing operations in Naxal areas.
It has been argued that Naxalites escape to other states that share border with Maharashtra to escape combing operations.
“In the last two attacks, we have realised that the Naxalite strategy has changed. Earlier, a ‘dalam’ of 15-16 would ambush and attack. Now, it's a group of 100-odd armed group that traps and ambushes police group and shoots everyone,” Patil said.
The state’s home department has also budgeted Rs 100 crore for revamping the police structuring in the area. Gadchiroli would be split into two police districts manned by two Superinten-dents of Police. These two police districts along with Gondia would come under the unified command of a DIG.
The anti-Naxalite operations would shift from Nagpur to Gadchiroli and armed outposts in the areas would be manned by team of 60-odd State Reserve Police Force.
The money will be used for setting up watch towers, perimeter walls, additional fire power for the policemen.
The Sena-BJP opposition not satisfied with Patil’s reply terming it as “inadequate” staged a walkout.