Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today rejected Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's demand for a 'white paper' on internal security and said the government was following a two-pronged strategy of development and offensive action to tackle Naxalism.
"Mr Modi is chief minister for nine years. He has been attending it (conference of internal security) every year. He should understand the gravity of Naxalism as he is just on the border of Maharashtra (which is affected by Naxalism).
"So if he has understood the gravity of Naxalism. If proper care is not taken, what sort of white paper they want.
I think we need to be rigid on this. I don't think any white paper is required on it," he told reporters during his monthly press conference here.
"We have already said as far as possible we should work to make roads and provide education in those (Naxal-affected) areas," the minister said.
Modi, after attending the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security here on June 5, had demanded a 'white paper' from the government on internal security.
"We have got two-pronged action directive from the all party meeting that we should go ahead with the development work and at the same time we should take stringent action against them. Both Centre and state security forces will work together (in tackling the menace)," Shinde said when asked about the outcome of all-party meeting on Naxalism held here yesterday.
The meeting assumes significance as it was called in the wake of the brutal Naxal attack on Congress party's 'Parivartan Yatra' on May 25 in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh which killed the party's leaders and injured 37 others. The Home Ministry has later given the case to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the case.
"NIA is enquiring into the case. And the police action from both the state government and central paramilitary forces is on. I can't give you the lead. This is not the time to give lead," Shinde said when asked about the progress on the enquiry.
Shinde also condoled V C Shukla's death. Shukla, who suffered bullet injuries in the deadly Naxal attack, died today after developing multi-organ failure.
The Home Minister said the Centre will also provide security for the Yatra, which was stopped in the state after the attack.
"Parivartan Yatra is a democratic process and any government in democracy will allow such kind of Parivartan yatras. We at the central government, if they (Congress) are going on a Parivartan Yatra, we will direct the state government to give full fledged security. We will also give security from the central government," he said.
On allegations of involvement of some Congress leaders in the attack, he said, "When enquiry is going on, anybody can make allegations. Actual investigation is going on, as and when the investigation is completed, it will be known. The political accusation has no meaning," he said.
Shinde said the government has already made it clear that it consider Naxal acts as terrorism.
"We have always maintained that Naxal movement, it has been proved, is terrorist activity," he said rejecting a need for any proposal to term Naxalism as terrorism.
"A person was fired bullets 74 times (on Mahendra Karma's body who died in the May 25 attack) and stabbed 75 times. Can you say it is a simple thing. Is it not terror? It is a terror act," he asked.
When asked whether he would campaign in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh for assembly polls due this year end, Shinde said there was no need for him to travel.
The Home Minister also said the Centre will provide required paramilitary forces for security during panchayat polls in West Bengal.
"It (forces) will be given to them. I have spoken to the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) and asked her that she should give a proposal to Chief Secretary and the Chief Secretary will talk to Home Secretary. I have already spoken to Home Secretary asking him to give paramilitary forces (to West Bengal)," he added.