1. No involvement of army in anti-Naxal operations: Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi

No involvement of army in anti-Naxal operations: Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi

The Centre today ruled out taking any help from the army in tackling the Naxals and said there will be more coordination between the states and central forces after removing all differences.

By: | New Delhi | Published: May 8, 2017 10:29 PM
The Union home secretary said the policy of zero tolerance towards Maoist violence will continue along with the development initiatives in backward Naxal-infested region. (Express Photo)

The Centre today ruled out taking any help from the army in tackling the Naxals and said there will be more coordination between the states and central forces after removing all differences. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi also said that demonetisation had choked funding to the Naxals and they became more desperate since then.

“There is no question of involvement of the army in the anti-Naxal operations, not even in training purposes,” he told reporters after a day-long meeting of chief ministers of Naxal-hit states which was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh here.

Mehrishi, however, said personnel of state and central security forces have been attending training capsules with the army for decades and that have nothing to do with the anti- Naxal operations.

The Union home secretary said the policy of zero tolerance towards Maoist violence will continue along with the development initiatives in backward Naxal-infested region.

Mehrishi said a high-level committee, under his chairmanship, has been set up to fine tune a comprehensive anti-Naxal strategy and how to better use modern technology in curbing the Maoist menace.

The committee, which has chief secretaries and DGPs of affected states as members, will analyse the ongoing operations and suggest ways on how to improve it further.

Describing the Naxal menace as a “national problem”, Mehrishi said there was a need for better coordination among the states and all difficulties would be removed in coming days with active coordination between states and central governments.

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Referring to the suggestion given by the home minister to set up unified command for the Naxal-hit states, the union home secretary said there could be a unified command structure among two-three states for better results but that will depend on the ground situation.

Asked about Singh’s suggestion that there should “aggression” in the fight against the Naxals, Mehrishi said there was no “negative” connotation in the suggestion and the home minister just said that there should be aggression in operations as well as in development initiatives.

He said several states have suggested that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act should be better utilised to check of money flow to the Naxals.

The Union home secretary said the post-lunch session of the meeting was also attended by the district magistrates and the superintendents of police of the 35 worst Naxal-hit districts and they gave suggestions like minor modifications in various policies, which may lead to better results on the ground.

Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Piyush Goyal, Manoj Sinha attended the meeting in the afternoon when various development issues were discussed.

“You will all agree that in addition to the various facets of security, the socio-economic empowerment of the people at large is essential so that the public support stays with the government,” Mehrishi said.

He said it is necessary for states to work on a coordinated strategy of security and development so that the confidence of the public in the democratic process is maintained in the left wing extremism affected areas.

Mehrishi said the government has taken various steps with this objective, so that confidence in the government grows in the minds of tribals and others living in the affected areas.

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