The Centre’s decision to pursue a two-pronged approach to deal with the naxal menace (July 16) is in the right direction. Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s admission that the government has underestimated the problem of Left-wing extremism bears its failure out. The naxalites have gained the support of people in the areas where they are operating. The task of the police deployed for combating the naxalities, therefore, becomes more difficult. The proposed two-pronged strategy, it is hoped, will produce results.

S. Lakshmi Narayanan,

Vriddhachalam

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The government should involve the people of naxal-infested areas in counter-insurgency operations and win over their support by addressing their social and economic problems. As a first step, it should take steps on a war footing to check the flow of money and material to the naxalites.

M. Somasekhar Prasad,

Badvel

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Had the Centre and the State governments treated naxalism as a socio-economic issue, instead of considering it a law and order problem, it might have been controlled by now. It would not have grown into such gigantic proportions and posed a formidable challenge to the government. Even now, it is not too late to address the issues that give birth to naxalites.

V. Padmanabhan,

Bangalore