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Use up money meant to counter Maoists: HM
New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS):
Published on 18 Aug. 2009 11:25 PM IST
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Ahead of an upcoming offensive against the Maoists in seven affected states, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday expressed concern over the under-utilisation of funds made available to counter the rebels. Interacting separately with the chief ministers of states affected by the Maoist violence, the home minister called upon them to frame an attractive surrender and rehabilitation policy, put in place an effective machinery for grievance redressal, and take steps to stop the flow of funds and supply of arms and ammunition to the rebels. The central funds for these states are made available under the scheme for Security Related Expenditure (SRE), special infrastructure and modernisation of police forces schemes. The home ministry has already drawn up an elaborate counter-offensive operation in Maoist strongholds across central India involving 26,000 personnel drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force, and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The offensive against the Maoists is timed for a launch in October and the objective is to secure the Maoist belts and provide governance there. “The home minister called upon the states to strengthen rural policing by filling up vacancies and fortifying police stations and strengthen their intelligence set-up,” said a statement from the home ministry. According to Raman Singh, chief minister of India’s worst Maoist-hit state of Chhattisgarh, the time has come for a “direct fight on three fronts” to counter the Maoist menace. Singh, who was speaking at the internal security meet in New Delhi Monday, also said that Leftwing extremism should be considered a national calamity. “The time has come for a direct fight on three fronts to counter Naxalites,” said Singh. “In view of the comprehensiveness of the Maoist problem in Chhattisgarh, the security forces should be allowed for direct action against Maoists - besides socio-economic and infrastructure development of the affected areas and also effectively countering the Maoists’ international propaganda which is being used to justify the violence and their movement,” Singh told the meet. On their part, other chief ministers gave an account of the steps they have taken in fighting the Maoist menace. They sought increased central assistance for training their forces in counter-insurgency operations and for constructing roads of critical importance. Chidambaram in his address exhorted all chief ministers to enhance the capability of their police forces to meet internal security challenges and said their foremost responsibility was to fill up the glaring police vacancies. Maoist rebels hold sway in nearly 170 districts of the country in varying degrees. The country has witnessed 1,128 incidents of Maoist-related violence till June 30 that has left 455 civilians and security forces dead

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