Need UAVs, Connectivity, Development In Maoist-Hit Areas: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh is holding a strategy meeting with Chief Ministers of Maoist-hit states

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Need UAVs, Connectivity, Development In Maoist-Hit Areas: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh chaired the meet to formulate an effective policy to contain Maoists.

New Delhi:  While there is "no silver bullet" to obliterate the Maoist problem, it is necessary to find a permanent solution, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said today while chairing a meeting to tackle the issue. To this end, he said a strategic and unified command should be formed - as a first step to which, the command headquarters of the CRPF has been shifted from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh's Raipur.

The Chief Ministers and senior officials of 7 states are attending the meeting, which is being held in the shadow of last month's attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma that claimed the lives of 25 securitymen. Among the absentees are West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Telangana's KC Rao and Andhra Pradesh's N Chandrababu Naidu.

The Naxal problem cannot be resolved through "silver bullets" or any shortcut but through short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions, said Mr Singh, who is chairing the meeting. "The first principle of fighting the Left-wing extremism is through choking financial resources of the extremists," he added.

On the security front, he advocated the increased use of technology and communication and said unmanned aerial vehicles should be part of the operations. The camps of the CRPF or Central Reserve Police Force should be adequately equipped with power and water and connectivity.

Sources said the government is considering a three-pronged strategy to counter Maoists that would involve faster development, better security and improved ground intelligence.

Given that Maoists thrive in under-developed areas where a huge section of the population live below poverty line, the government plans to bring in swift development that would help lift the local economy. To fast-forward developmental projects in Maoist-affected areas, Ministers of Railways, Road Transport, Civil Aviation and Telecom are attending the meeting.

Around 12,000 people have lost their lives to Maoist violence in the last 20 years, the home minister said. He expressed confidence that "together, with the new strategy and new force, we will confront the Maoists and will be successful against them".

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