Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Situation in Maoist-affected states continues to be grave: Chidambaram

TNN, 2 February 2010, 03:37am IST

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday said the situation in Maoist-affected states continues to be "a cause of grave concern" and feared that the trend

of rising violence — witnessed in 2009 — would continue in 2010.

Union home minister P Chidambaram said: "I expect this trend to continue in 2010, but I am also confident that state governments would be able to gradually reclaim control over areas that are now dominated by naxalites."

The number of civilians deaths in the affected states was 591 in 2009. As many as 317 security personnel — the highest in the past five years — were also killed last year as against 217 casualties among the Red ultras.

Chidambaram, while presenting the monthly report card of his ministry, said the authorities had lived in a state of denial on the actual situation in the naxal-affected states for too long.

"Therefore, when I candidly state the position, it might appear surprising to you, but I believe that it is necessary that the authority of the civilian government is established in these districts where in large tracts of land, the authority is not with the civilian government,"
he said, terming the ongoing anti-naxal operation across states as a long-drawn struggle.

Currently, 33 districts are seriously affected by naxal violence. In addition, there are 50 districts where Maoists have some presence.

Asked about his plan to restructure the ministry relating to internal security functions as well as the role of National Security Adviser (NSA) in the entire scheme of things, he said: "That is for the Prime Minister to decide. In the (proposed) National Counter Terrorism Centre, we have not discussed the role of NSA. He advises the government and the Prime Minister. It is entirely the privilege of the Prime Minister to entrust him with any responsibility."

Asked about the progress on his proposal to reorganize the ministry, Chidambaram said: "There is no follow up on that. But I have decided that more work related to non-internal security matters will be allocated to the two ministers of state (Ajay Maken and M Ramachandran). And I have requested them to take review meetings and hold more intense discussions with officers on subjects which are not directly related to internal security so that I can conserve my time for internal security matters."

No comments: