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Change of heart needed among Naxals, says Chidambram
New Delhi, JUL 30 (Agencies/PTI):
Published on 30 Jul. 2010 9:59 PM IST
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A day after exuding confidence of overcoming the Maoist problem in next three years, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said he hoped there would be a change of heart among the extreme leftists who believe in armed liberation struggle.
“We are confident that in about three years... just to dispel an impression that it is a matter of weeks or months... I said (yesterday) that about three years we should be able to contain the menace of Naxalism,” he told reporters here.
Chidambaram was asked if his yesterday’s statement -- that the problem of left wing extremism would be overcome in next three years -- was not over ambitious.
The Home Minister said, with action being taken by the government, in development and the security of the areas, the menace of Naxalism would substantially be contained in about three years.
“But ultimately there has to be a change of heart among the extreme leftists who believe in armed liberation struggle. They have to give up that ideology. That ideology has no place in a Parliamentary democracy,” he said. Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday, Chidambaram expressed confidence that the challenge of left wing extremism would be met jointly by the Central and state governments.
Chidambaram said after consultations with the Naxal-affected states, it was agreed to have a two-pronged strategy to handle the Maoist issue -- development and police action.
The Home Minister said the Centre was assisting the states by providing para-military forces, sharing intelligence and funding both development schemes and security needs.
Chidambaram also said that in a meeting of Chief Ministers of seven Naxal-affected states on July 14, it was agreed that a Unified Command would be set up in four states -- West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand -- for anti-Naxal operations. Besides, the Centre would provide these states additional helicopters for logistical support, funds for establishment and strengthening of 400 police stations recruiting additional Special Police Officers.NIA probing Samjhauta blast links with Ajmer, Malegaon cases
‘IG level officers can seek BSF choppers’
To minimise reaction time of anti-Naxal operations, the government has authorised a special group of officers posted in such terrains to requisition BSF helicopters rather than route the request through state police.
“The powers for requisition of BSF helicopters have been delegated to the IG (Ops) CRPF of the state concerned,” Home Minister P Chidambaram today said at his monthly press briefings.
The move is set to bolster the campaign against the Maoists as, till now, the state police could ask for the helicopters after consultation with CRPF Special Director General and commander of anti-Naxal operations .
The recently appointed CRPF Inspector General level officers are deployed in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal, where a new Unified Command will also be set up.
The Union Home Ministry meanwhile has sanctioned Rs 45 lakh for procurement of 30 satellite phones for the Border Security Force.
Satellite phones are crucial for security forces as at times they operate in thick jungles and forward areas where normal mobile connections don’t work.
The Ministry has also sanctioned Rs 25 crore for the purchase of 10 All-Purpose/Special Purpose Vehicles.
Procurement of 216 vehicles for CRPF at a cost of Rs 16.77 crore and 224 vehicles for Special Action Force at a cost of Rs 18.08 crore has also been sanctioned.

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