Government on Friday said it will continue to follow its two-pronged approach of development and well-planned police action to check Naxal menace but pointed out that Central funds meant for projects for betterment of such regions were not being well used.
“Government will continue to follow its two-pronged approach of development and calibrated police action to deal with the Naxal problem,” said Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram during a meeting of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Home Affairs here on Friday.
This was the first time the Committee met after the Naxal ambush that claimed lives of 76 securitymen in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh earlier this month.
“The decision will vary from situation to situation and from state to state and no fixed prescription is possible. In some areas, it may be possible to undertake some developmental activities, to be followed immediately by steps to strengthen security.
“In other areas, it may be necessary to first launch police action to regain control of the territory, followed by vigorous developmental activities,” the Minister said.
The subject of the meeting was ‘Left Wing Extremism.’
Drawing attention to anti-development activities of Naxalites, Mr. Chidambaram said they have been destroying school buildings, roads and telephone towers among others because development will wean away poor tribals from the grip of the ultras.
He pointed out in 2009 alone, Naxals destroyed 71 school buildings, the re-building of which may take years, depriving tribal children of education.
Mr. Chidambaram said huge amount of money is being given to state governments for bringing about development in the 34 worst-affected Naxal districts under various programmes.
Expressing dissatisfaction over proper utilisation of money, he called for proper utilisation of the funds provided by the Centre for development of the Naxal-affected areas.
Taking part in the discussions, the Committee members supported the government’s two-pronged policy and suggested a visit by an all-party Parliamentary delegation to the Naxal-affected areas to win the trust and goodwill of tribal people, an MHA statement said.
They also pointed out the need for good coordination between local police and Central paramilitary forces and availability of actionable intelligence at the ground level.
The discussions remained inconclusive and another meeting of the Consultative Committee would be held soon to continue discussions on the same subject, to enable more members to participate, the statement read.
The Committee members comprise MP’s from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.