Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Thursday the government was confident that the problem of Left-wing extremism would be overcome in the next three years.
Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Minister expressed confidence that the challenge would be met jointly by the Central and State governments.
Mr. Chidambaram said that after consultations with the Naxal-affected States, it was agreed to have a two-pronged strategy to handle the Maoist issue — based on development and police action.
While the Central government acknowledged that the primary role and responsibility was that of State governments to enforce law and order, it also recognised its own responsibility in assisting the States in every way, he said.
The Minister said the Centre was assisting the States by providing paramilitary forces, sharing intelligence, and funding development schemes and security needs.
He said that at the July 14 meeting of Chief Ministers of seven Naxal-affected States, it was agreed that a Unified Command would be set up in West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand for anti-Naxal operations.
Besides, the Centre would provide these States additional helicopters for logistics support, funds for establishment and strengthening of 400 police stations.
It was also agreed to set up an Empowered Group chaired by Member Secretary, Planning Commission, to review existing norms and guidelines in implementation of various development schemes, having regard to local needs such as road connectivity, primary education, primary health care and drinking water.
During the discussions, the members broadly agreed with the suggestions given in the agenda note, which included steps on both security and development fronts.