Rajnath Singh calls for unified command and aggressive action against Maoists

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday announced a new committee under the home secretary to revisit the government's policy to tackle Naxalism, while asserting that the problem can not be resolved through "silver bullets" alone, but through an eightpronged approach called "SAMADHAN". "The situation calls for serious analysis, strategic review and calibrated action", Patnaik said.

Addressing a meeting of chief ministers of Naxal-hit states, Singh said a large number of Naxal cadres have been killed and many others have surrendered since 2014.

The Minister said about 12,000 people have been killed in Maoist violence in last 20 years. "LWE groups are trying to weaken democracy in the country". "Today we need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of any incident or [whether] we should be more proactive".

The meeting was also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, district magistrates and the superintendents of police of 35 of Naxal-hit districts. "In order to prevent this, it would be advisable to have trackers in weapons, biometrics in smart gun triggers", Rajnath said.

In a sign of things to come, the Centre today underlined the need to have "aggression" in the battle against left-wing extremism (LWE) in the country and stated that the state governments should take the ownership of anti-Naxal operations. The camps of the CRPF or Central Reserve Police Force should be adequately equipped with power and water and connectivity.

He said that along with strategic command, a unified command is required at the operational and tactical level.

Noting that the cancer of the left-wing extremism flourishes in poverty and backwardness, Singh said the extremists want to ensure that the people of these areas stay without electricity, road or education so that their vested interests continue unabated.

"We need to use high resolution cameras, Global Positioning System, thermal imaging, radar and satellite images".

Several States also raised the issue of discontinuation of central schemes such as Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) and Integrated Action Plan (IAP) and a considerable reduction in central funds as an impediment to winning the war against the Maoists. The force has already shifted its anti-Naxal ops command centre from Kolkata to Raipur to further strengthen its operations in the state.

The chief ministers highlighted the need for sharing intelligence inputs, better coordination, need for deployment of more CAPF forces and unfilled vacancies in state police forces among issues.

The day-long meeting on Monday is also being attended by the secretaries of the union ministries, besides chief secretaries and police chiefs of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, a Home Ministry statement said.

After a string of deadly Naxal attacks on security forces over the past few months, the government has chose to adopt an aggressive strategy to contain the Maoist violence.