The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre and nine States on a petition for a policy to curb Naxal activities which threaten internal security.

A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ms. Ranjana Desai asked governments of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to respond in four weeks.

In his petition, Kishore Samrite, a former Samajwadi Party MLA, said that in 2006, the Research and Analysis Wing had estimated that 20,000 armed Naxalites were operating in various States. In 2007, they were thought to be active in half of India’s States.

In February 2009, the Union government announced an integrated action plan for broad, coordinated operations nationwide to tackle the problem. However, this plan was yet to be implemented.

Underscoring various incidents in which Naxals had killed security forces and innocent persons, Mr. Samrite said that whenever such attacks happened, Union and State ministers concerned would call for urgent steps to end the menace, but no effective steps were taken. In the absence of any regulation by the Centre, the militants grew in strength and spread terror disturbing peace, he said.

Since the plan was conceived, the Union Rural Development and Home Ministries had differed over how to carry it through, he said, pleading for a directive to the Centre for proper and effective execution of the plan.

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