West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday advocated the need to counter the Maoists issue politically while also seeking cooperation from the opposition in this endeavour.
“Efforts are being made to tackle Maoists politically and I hereby call upon the opposition to come forward to make the endeavour successful, Mr. Bhattacharjee said in the Assembly on Thursday.
Replying to a question, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with Chief Ministers of Naxalite-affected states in Delhi recently discussed, among other things, setting up a Unified Combat force to counter the Maoist threat.
Stating that an anti-terrorist training centre was being planned in the Naxal-hit West Midnapore district, the CM said details would be disclosed only after finalising its exact location.
Besides, the State government has taken up steps to modernise the police force to counter attack by terrorist groups, while forces were being increased to strengthen vigil in the districts where Maoist posters were found.
Mr. Bhattacharjee said a special unit has already been set up in this for this under the DIG (Operation), CID.
A counter-insurgency force, under the leadership of an IGP (Operation), has been also formed and would start functioning soon, he said. In Kolkata Police too, a special task force has been set up under an official of the rank of Joint Commissioner of Police.
Special training for the police has also been arranged with the help of the Army to counter terrorist attacks and contain militant activities in the State, the Chief Minister said.
Joint training programmes have been arranged with the central security agencies to thwart threats from ultras and prevent disclosure of classified information.
Already several updated gadgets, arms and vehicles have been procured as part of upgradation of the police force in the State, Mr. Bhattacharjee said.