Friday, February 05, 2010

For Jharkhand govt, force not prescription for Naxal cure

Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay Posted online: Saturday , Feb 06, 2010 at 0357 hrs

Kolkata : Ahead of the crucial meeting on curbing the rising Naxal problem in the four states of Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar, a senior official of the Jharkhand government has raised questions on the efficacy of security operations against the ultras.

Speaking to The Indian Express, J B Tubid, Principal Secretary (Home) in the Jharkhand government, said, “You cannot hold a gun at somebody’s head and solve the (Naxalite) problem. It is not that easy.”

“The problem cannot be solved by mere induction of force only. There has to be a holistic approach (to tackle the Maoist problem), at the root of which development of the areas and people is required,” Tubid said.

“By mere induction of forces, by killing them, can you solve the problem? We don’t think so. A lot of other things have to be done. One has to be lenient about this,” Tubid added.

He, however, denied allegations that the Jharkhand government was not serious in tackling the Maoist problem in the state.

“We had a lot of meetings with the West Bengal government and questions were never raised on us being lenient (towards Maoists),” Tubid said.

But at the same time, Tubid raised apprehension on the functioning of the “joint operations”. “How can there be a joint force? Law and order is a state subject. If the Naxalites strike in West Bengal, the Bengal police cannot come to Jharkhand. Similarly, we also cannot go to Orissa. If there is a joint force then someone from the Central government should head it,” he added. The Jharkhand Home Secretary was in Kolkata to attend a meeting of Eastern Zonal Council, which was also attended by Asok Mohan Chakrabarti, Chief Secretary of West Bengal, Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen, Orissa Chief Secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra and Bihar Chief Secretary Anup Kumar Mukherjee.

On February 9, chief ministers of the four states will be in Kolkata to attend a meeting on the Naxal problem, which will be presided over by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

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