Monday, February 19, 2007

First E-GoM on Naxalism focuses on intelligence gathering

New Delhi, Feb 19: Against the backdrop of Left-wing extremism in some parts of the country, the Empowered Group of Ministers (E-GoM) on Naxalism at its first meeting on Monday focused on strengthening intelligence gathering and better coordination among affected states.

At a two-hour meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, it was also decided to provide better training to police personnel and furnish the states with latest equipment to deal with the menace, sources said.

Devoting most of the time on the need for better intelligence gathering, the meeting felt that since the ultras escape to neighbouring states after unleashing violence, there should be close coordination between the affected states.

The Centre was prepared to provide helicopters to them as and when the need arose, they said and added that armoured and anti-mine vehicles would also be provided to them.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Law Minister H R Bhardwaj, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and home ministers and representative from half a dozen Naxal-hit states, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

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