Centre, states must join hands to curb Naxal violence: PM

Addressing the Chief Ministers\' Conference on internal security, Manmohan Singh said attacks like the May 25 strike against Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh were \'setbacks\' in the process to tackle the extremist problem.

Published: 05th June 2013 10:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2013 04:32 PM   |  A+A-

Manmohan_PTI
By PTI

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that Naxal violence has no place in democracy and the Centre and state governments must work together to deal with the "very grave threat" posed by Maoists.

Condemning the recent Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, he asked states to come up with some concrete measures to deal with the threat.

Addressing Chief Ministers at the annual Internal Security Conference, he said time has come to view the challenges of terrorism, communal violence and Left Wing Extremism in a holistic manner, rising above narrow, political and ideological divides.

"I think each one of us needs to be completely objective in our approach to these issues, acting in national interest rising above narrow political and ideological divides.

"I would appeal to all political parties and all sections of society to work together to find effective ways and means of meeting these grave challenges," Singh said.

Assuring states that the challenges posed by Naxalism have received serious attention from the Centre for quite some time now, the Prime Minister said, "We have adopted a two-pronged strategy to deal with the challenge: conducting proactive and sustained operations against Maoist extremists; and, addressing development and governance issues in Left Wing Extremism affected areas."

He emphasised that the two-pronged strategy needed to be strengthened and pursued with rigour.

"Even as we intensify our efforts to strengthen the security and intelligence apparatus in areas affected by Maoist violence, we should be able to ensure that people residing in Left Wing Extremist affected areas are able to live in an environment of peace and security and derive full benefits of our development efforts," he said

Singh said an All-Party meeting will be held on June 10 to build a broader national consensus on the strategy to tackle the Naxalite challenge which comes in the aftermath of the brutal attack by Maoists on Congress leaders and workers and their security personnel in Chhattisgarh.

The Prime Minister stressed that the Centre and States should join hands to ensure that such events do not recur.

"I have noted from the agenda papers that there is a separate session on Left Wing Extremism in this conference and I would urge you to make good use of this opportunity to come up with some concrete measures to deal with the very grave threat of Naxalism," he said.

Singh said the Chhattisgarh Naxal attack was a "setback" to the success story achieved by the Government in tackling the maoists.

"In the last couple of years there has been a substantial reduction in the number of incidents and deaths caused by Left Wing Extremist groups and an increase in the number of Naxalite surrenders.

"But, major violent attacks by Naxalites like the recent one in Chhattisgarh are setbacks that have occurred periodically," Singh, who was flanked by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, said.

He said the Centre had already started taking steps like further strengthening defensive and offensive capabilities against Left Wing Extremists. "I hope the state governments will cooperate fully with us and add to the effectiveness of these efforts."

On Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said, "Our strategy to prevent cross-border infiltration by militants and our intelligence based counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir have resulted in a decline in the level of terrorist violence by about one-third in 2012 as compared to 2011.

"In fact, terrorist violence parameters in 2012 have been the lowest since the upsurge in terrorist activities two decades ago. The record inflow of tourists and pilgrims during 2012 also points to an improved security situation in the state," he said, adding the implementation of several infrastructure projects in the state was progressing well.

The Prime Minister, while talking about the Northeast, said the security situation in the region continues to be complex, with insurgency, extortion and agitations being the main disruptive elements in the hands of the insurgents.

However, there has been considerable progress in dialogue with several insurgent and ethnic separatist groups in the North-East, he said and added that the Centre was committed to undertake and bring to a satisfactory conclusion dialogue with all groups which are willing to give up violence to seek solution within the framework of Constitution.

On the issue of improving border management and coastal security, he said greater focus and priority than before was being given to the work of fencing and construction of additional Border Outposts along the India-Bangladesh border, construction and up-gradation of roads along the India-China, India-Nepal and India-Bhutan borders as well as development of integrated check posts on India-Pakistan and India-Nepal borders.

"The need for coordinated efforts by Central and State agencies to deal with terrorism and other security challenges, irrespective of whether they are internal or external in origin, has been emphasised in all earlier conferences...I would urge you once more to explore how we can achieve even better coordination between the Centre and States," the Prime Minister said.

He said Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has been set up as an autonomous body in August 2012 to administer the Gorkhaland region and ensure its all-round development.

"The Centre is committed to providing financial assistance of Rs 200 crore per annum for three years for projects aimed at developing the socio-economic infrastructure in the GTA areas," he said.

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