Saturday, April 14, 2007

Naxal-affected states to enhance coordination

Updated: 04-14-2007

HYDERABAD: Estimating the strength of underground armed Leftwing extremists in the country to be around 6,000, the high-level meeting of the anti-Naxal Task Force held here on Friday underscored the need for better coordination and intelligence sharing among the nine-Naxal ffected states.

The meeting was attended by intelligence chiefs of Task Force member states Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharshtra, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, senior officials of Ministry of Home Affairs and central Intelligence Bureau. Special Secretary of Home department ML Kumawat chaired the meeting. The Task Force members meet once in 45 days in one of the affected states.

Sources said that the meeting identified some shortcomings and loopholes in the strategies being adopted by various states. While the efforts of Andhra Pradesh police were appreciated, concerns were raised over the growing violence in Chattisgarh.“The main focus of the meeting was to bring in a uniform and coordinated approach. The overall situation was satisfaction, but there is scope for some improvement in some states,” sources maintained.

The activists of the Naxalites in Dandakaranya region who are on the rampage was discussed threadbare.Speaking to mediapersons later, Kumawat said that Rs 4500 crore have been ear-marked for modernisation of police force. Andhra Pradesh stood first in keeping the Naxals under check but the area of concern is Chattisgarh.

“The Centre will extend all the possible support to the states in containing the Naxal violence,” the special secretary said while adding that the government is prepared to talk to Naxalites provided they lay down arms. The next meeting of the Task Force will be held in Chattisgarh

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