Thursday, December 20, 2007

New force must to tackle Naxal menace: PM

BS Reporter / New Delhi December 20, 2007

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today raised the strongest possible alarm on the proliferation of naxalites in India saying "not a day goes by without an incident of Left wing extremism."

Speaking at a Chief Ministers conference on internal security, the Prime Minister urged states to develop a police force solely dedicated to combating the Maoist menace.

Observing that the activities of the naxal groups have revealed new aspects, targeting vital economic establishments and eliminating important political leaders, Singh said: "We cannot rest in peace till we have eliminated this virus."

"We need to cripple Naxalite forces with all the means at our command," he said and asked the states to set up specialised and dedicated forces to combat extremism.

The conference, which was barred for media coverage, is being organised by the home ministry and is also being attended by Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police, chiefs of para-military forces and intelligence agencies.

Stressing on improved policing capabilities and better training facilities, the Prime Minister said: "I hear that there were only three staff in the Dantewada jail where the jail break took place. Inadequate, ill-equipped, ill-trained, poorly-motivated personnel cannot take on the naxal extremists who are increasingly better equipped and organised," he said.

The Prime Minister assured full co-operation from the union home ministry in setting up the dedicated forces for countering naxalism. "The states also need to consider joint operations and joint mechanism for effective police operations," he said.

While the Left-wing extremism might be restricted to some regions, Singh said terrorism was becoming a larger problem affecting all states. "In the current year, we have had high profile terror attacks in Hyderabad, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. They are able to network across states and even international boundaries. While the actual perpetrators of terrorist violence may belong to a few known organisations, we need to guard against their attempts to recruit local sympathy and support," Singh said.

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