Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Rajnath to review security in Maoist-affected states

Rajnath to review security in Maoist-affected states

He had just chaired a meeting in this regard with officials and chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal.

The meeting, though planned earlier, comes in the backdrop of the April 24 Maoist ambush of CRPF personnel in Sukma when 25 jawans were killed.

"Today, we need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of such events?" He also stressed the need for greater use of technology like trackers in weapons and biometrics in smart guns, which are some of the new tech to check the use of looted arms by the militants.

In his speech, Nitish said that in a "federal structure, Centre can not relegate itself to mere reviewing role by throwing the ball in the court of states for taking effective action to neutralise this threat of Left Wing Extremism which has emerged as a challenge to internal security".

He has suggested the use of technologies and gadgets like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones), pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, Global Positioning System tracking and thermal imaging to track Naxalite movement in states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

The Home Minister further said that 12,000 Indian citizens-2,700 security personnel and 9,300 innocent civilians - had lost their lives in violent activities of the left-wing extremists.

Highlighting the need for motivation and training, Rajnath Singh said there was a need to improve the training and other facilities at the camps.

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"I am convinced that their martyrdom will not go in vain. We should start a mission with a clear aim to rid Sukma of this problem", Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh said.

Singh said technology is a force multiplier and many new techniques are also being used in dealing with law and order and the crime. "We need to use UAVs [drones], PTZ cameras, Global Positioning System tracking, thermal imaging, and Radar and satellite images [to do that]". If the officers lack leadership skills at the tactical level, it can demoralise the troops engaged in field operations.

Singh had termed the attack as direct "challenge to the government" and vowed to hunt down the attackers.

Ahead of the crucial meeting, the strategic command headquarters of CRPF's anti-Naxal operations was shifted from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh.

Issues related to inter-State coordination, intelligence sharing, setting up of Joint Task Forces for operations along inter-State boundaries were deliberated upon.

Rajnath said the central paramilitary forces needed to work with a coordinated strategy and suggested the establishment of unified coordination and command centres to fight the Maoists.

The meeting will discuss operational issues like the role of states in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) operations, raising, employment and deployment of India Reserve (IR) battalions by recruiting local youth and Special India Reserve Battalion (SIRB), capacity building and intelligence issues like vacancies in state police forces, besides capacity building of state intelligence units.

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