Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday said that the Centre wanted the states affected by Left-wing extremism (LWE)to raise a special force on the lines of Andhra Pradesh’s ‘Greyhounds’ to tackle the threat posed by the Maoists.
Addressing the media after reviewing the security situation in Chhattisgarh in the aftermath of May 25 ambush, the Home Minister assured the Centre’s assistance to the states for setting up the special force.
“Each Naxal-affected state should develop a force on the lines of the ‘Greyhounds’ to combat the Naxals. The Centre would offer help in this area,” he said.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had sanctioned `373 crore under the Scheme for Special Infrastructure (SIS) to raise the special force in the four Naxal-hit states -- Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
And the special force personnel will be provided advanced training in tactics and operation.
Shinde is likely to discuss the issue with the other Naxal-affected states -- West Bengal, Maharashtra, UP and Madhya Pradesh -- at the Chief Ministers’ conference scheduled to be held here on Wednesday.
Earlier, emerging from his meeting with Chief Minister Raman Singh, Shinde said sometimes the Naxals were seen as champions of the rights of tribal people.
But they were killing innocent people though development was taking place in the region. Shinde termed the so-called Naxalite movement and the deadly attack on the Congress contingent a terrorist act.
“So far, we were thinking that this violence would be some other way of movement. But in the 2010 Tadmetla massacre, in which 76 security personnel were killed, and the May 25 attack on the Congress motorcade we have seen it is nothing other than a terrorist act,” he said.
On the possible conspiracy behind the Naxal ambush, Shinde said the state government had already ordered a judicial probe, while the Centre was conducting a probe by the NIA.
“The(probe)reports will reveal the truth. Politics should not be played with the incident,” he said.
The BJP on Friday asked Congress leader Ajit Jogi to clarify “conspiracy theories” on the Naxal attack last weekend rather than “threaten” its leaders with legal action. “It is important that we know that on the Chhattisgarh attack, a lot of theories are floating on an issue like Naxals and their attack... The Congress rumour mills are fully busy about conspiracy theories... The conspiracy theories are coming out of Congress households,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.
She said instead of answering questions about one of their MLAs escaping on a motorbike and Jogi using a helicopter other than the convoy which was attacked, the former CM was threatening legal action against BJP leaders for alleging his role in the attack.