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'Home unmoved on Naxal crisis: Chhattisgarh CM

'Home unmoved on Naxal crisis: Chhattisgarh CM

Author: Pradeep Kaushal
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: July 28, 2006
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/9369.html

Introduction: The Centre offers money and forces… Does it take only these things to combat Maoists?

Faulting the Centre for not doing enough to tackle Naxalism, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has said the Centre was washing its hands of the issue by only providing funds and additional forces. Even as he appreciated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's understanding of the problem, he added that the Home Minister was indifferent.

''Let people in Delhi decide whether they will fight the Maoists or engage them in peace talks,'' Singh told The Indian Express last night. ''(But) they will decide on neither (course of action)...The Prime Minister understands the Naxalite problem very deeply, he is appreciative of what we say but the Home Minister, who has to initiate any proposal for tackling it, remains unmoved.''

The latest instance, he said, was the Centre's ''superficial'' response to the Maoist attack on the Salwa Judum's relief camp on Errabor in Dantewada district. ''The Centre offers me only money and additional forces and tells me to deal with Maoists on my own, but tell me, does it take only these two things to combat Maoists?'' he said. ''Can we checkmate the Naxalites single-handedly when they strike on our people within just 1 km from a neighbouring state?''

The Chief Minister said the Centre's idea to appoint a nodal officer for each Naxalite-affected state. ''It is meaningless to expect some ADG-level officers to devise and implement a common strategy. The policy can be drawn only by the Centre and chief ministers,'' he said.

Both short-term and long-term polices would be needed, he said, as the battle would continue till far-Left outfits were controlled. States would have to undertake joint operations and build pressure from all sides, he said.

On the Salwa Judum, he said his government had planned on extending the movement to other districts but the spate in violence had forced a slowdown. The government would now focus on providing security to the villagers, 65,000 in all, who were living in the camps.

The state government's next step: scouring of Abhujmad, a 4,000-sq km area inhabited by Mandia tribals which is a Naxalite stronghold. Singh said he had already obtained an ISRO survey report of the densely-forested area which would be followed by a manual exercise. ''We will thereafter decide how to take them (Naxalites) on,'' he said.

pradeep.kaushal@expressindia.com


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