Meeting on anti-Maoist strategy today


The anti-Maoist strategy will come up for a close scrutiny on Monday when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh meets chief ministers and officials from the Maoist-hit states.

The meeting, which comes a fortnight after 25 CRPF personnel were killed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, will discuss security-related issues and development aspects in separate sessions. Sources said the high-level meeting will look at various ways of improving the existing strategy to counter Maoists, who struck twice in a month. 

In March, 12 CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma. The meeting will be attended by the chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. 

District magistrates and superintendents of police of the 35 worst-affected districts will also attend the meeting. Sources said the agenda for discussion includes commando-training of state forces by the army, the use of India Reserve Battalions instead of CRPF for road-opening duties and the need for frequent unified command meetings.

The increase in IAF sorties for transporting security personnel may also be considered in the meeting.
The day-long meeting will discuss the role of the states in the operations by paramilitary forces and the raising and employment of India Reserve Battalions and Special India Reserve Battalion.

It will also discuss issues like vacancies in the state police force and the capacity-building of state intelligence units, an official statement said. Senior officials at the Centre will also debate the possibility of increasing anti-Maoist operations in the states. 

Another point that is expected to be discussed is the need to upgrade the intelligence-gathering apparatus in these states.

The home ministry, on May 4, had ordered an immediate shifting of the CRPF’s anti-Maoist operations command headquarters from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh. 

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