The Centre is planning to pump in Rs. 7,300 crore in security and infrastructure projects in districts affected by Maoist violence over the next three years.
To begin with, six districts would be selected in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to implement the plan. “The strategy will be to first secure the area and then carry out infrastructure and development projects like police stations, health centre, schools, roads and community centres,” Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai told reporters here on Friday.
The development package has been worked out in consultation with the States, he said, adding that within a month of security forces dominating the area, the State government would be able to restore civil administration there.
The Home Secretary said the strength of the police stations would also be increased from the present seven to eight personnel to at least 40. He said the State governments were recruiting police constables to fill the long-pending vacancies.
At a meeting of the high-power Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday, the government approved the new plan to counter naxalite violence.
Senior officials in the Home Ministry analysing inputs said the latest round of violence was an attempt by naxalite cadres to show their might and divert the attention of the government from development work. They felt that the naxalites have a “good stockpile” of arms and explosives and with the recent arrest of three of their leaders from Delhi and West Bengal, the naxalites would first want to move their leaders to safe places.
“The action plan, approved by the Union government, will be set in motion very soon. The operations will be focused,” CRPF Director-General A.S. Gill told reporters here.
Mr. Gill said new battalions of the CRPF and the specialised anti-naxal force CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) would take their positions in the affected areas by this year-end.
Terming naxalites as “enemies to the security of the country,” he said the specialised forces would adopt new strategies. “The terrain where the forces are operating is difficult. Naxals are in large numbers in these places. There will be more focused operations,” the CRPF chief said.