New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh will meet the Chief Ministers of all 10 states tomorrow to strengthen the anti-Maoist strategy. The meeting comes in the shadow of the attack by Maoists on April 24 in Chhattisgarh's Sukma, in which 25 men of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed.
The meeting, chaired by Mr Singh, will be attended by Chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Senior officials from 35 districts, which the government says, witness Maoist activities, will also be present.
The Home Ministry has already ordered the anti-Maoist unit of the CRPF to relocate its command headquarters from Kolkata to Raipur, the Capital of Chhattisgarh, to send a signal that the Centre is ready to take on the Maoists. Its return comes roughly seven years after it was shifted from Raipur to Kolkata due to logistical and connectivity issues.
The government is considering a three-pronged strategy in the Maoist-hit states, which would involve faster development, better security and improved ground intelligence.
The small print on security involves the use of choppers for faster movement of paramilitary force and joint exercises by police forces of separate states to strengthen security in porous inter-state borders. The borders tend to be hub of Maoist activities - the free movement allows them to melt away in another state when under pressure at one state.
The government also wants better coordination between various ministries for faster completion of projects in Maoist affected areas. To this end, Ministers of Railways, Road Transport, Civil Aviation and Telecom have all been asked to attend Monday's meeting. Officials said special units of India Reserve Battalion will also be raised to oversee security for development projects in the Maoist-affected states.
The group may also carry out a reassessment on the capability and coordination of the forces involved, said Brigadier BK Ponwar, the director Jungle Warfare School, Kanker, which specialises in training jawans in anti naxal strategy.
"I am sure the government of Chhattisgarh as it is has taken the lead in the entire campaign in the so called red corridor, which we have made out, and we are going to be victorious very soon," he added.
Since April 2010, nearly 200 securitymen have died in six major attacks in Chhattisgarh alone. After the April 24 attack, the Home Minister had said it was a challenge for the government.