Minister for Home Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on Monday said the State government was planning a multi-pronged approach to tackle the Maoist threat, including the establishment of a special anti-terrorist force.

Replying to questions at a press conference here, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the Home Department had decided to strengthen 16 police stations in the tribal areas, in addition to opening Jana Maithri police stations.

The student police scheme would also be implemented in tribal schools, he said. Persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribe communities would be appointed Home Guards and be given other tasks such as monitoring the reach of government welfare programmes and development activities. Such measures would ensure a participatory role for the tribals, besides ensuring more interaction with the local population. Currently, the Thunderbolt force was present in the area. The government would also requisition the services of Central forces, if necessary, but it did not perceive any threats from the Maoists, the Minister said.

In reply to a question, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the participatory programme of the government did not have any resemblance to the Salwa Judum force in Chhattisgarh. The objective of the government was to ensure a participatory role for the tribal population. A joint operation involving the Director Generals of Police of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Police was already in place to monitor the situation, he said.

Sex racket

With regard to the Peruvannamozhi sex racket, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the 10-member investigation team had the powers to operate across the State. His department had initiated swift action as soon as it received complaints. He said the government was planning to hold adalats at the district level for speedy disposal of petty cases. The large number of petty cases gave a false impression about the law and order situation in the State, which had far better indices of performance when compared to several other States, he said.

More In: Kerala | National