CCS debates ways to tackle Naxalites

FOR THE NATION: Member of a paramilitary force pays tributes to his colleagues who were killed in a Chhattisgarh Naxal attack, in New Delhi, on May 10. Photo: V.V.Krishnan  

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) which met here on Thursday held discussions on measures to combat the Naxalite problem.

Though there was no official word after the meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it is learnt that the CCS discussions on Maoist violence were based on a note prepared by the Union Home Ministry.

Amid indications that the Army and the Air Force were wary of getting involved in anti-Maoist operations, the CCS is understood to have discussed the views of the Defence and Home Ministries on how to tackle the violence unleashed in the recent months by the Left-wing extremists who have targeted civilians, passenger trains and Central paramilitary forces.

The meeting, it is learnt, took note of difference in perceptions of both the Defence and Home Ministries but failed to come to an agreement. The Home Ministry wants a greater role for the State police to tackle the naxal menace and is ready to provide Central forces to assist in anti-Maoist operations. The Ministry also wants to begin development projects in areas where the official administration has been reluctant to register its presence in States such as Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

The Defence Ministry says the Army is already overstretched due to its duties in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-Eastern region and has indicated that the presence of Army jawans in tribal-dominated areas would only alienate the local tribal population.

The Defence Ministry, sources say, is ready to spare Army instructors to provide training to the Central forces and State police to enhance their capabilities to take on Maoists effectively.

There were differences between the Home and the Defence Ministries also on the composition of Unified Command and who should head it in a Naxal-violence affected State — the Chief Minister or the Chief Secretary.

Though the Home Ministry has augmented the capability of police forces in various States by providing specialised training and sending paramilitary forces, it has come under pressure after the recent Maoist strike on CRPF personnel in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh in which 75 personnel were massacred.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 10:35:52 PM |

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