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Cabinet Committee on Security clears anti-Naxal plan

Posted by Admin on October 9, 2009

CCS clears anti-Naxal plan

NEW DELHI, 8 OCT: With Naxals striking at will, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) today approved the Government’s new plan to counter Maoists under which the infested states will have an effective coordination and police taking a lead role.
The CCS presided by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh gave the clearance to the plan, a day after Union home minister Mr P Chidambaram warned the Maoists to “abjure” violence or face action. According to the plan worked out by the Union home ministry, the anti-Naxal operations will be undertaken in states affected by Left wing extremism and would be assisted by CoBRA( Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), a central force. The two-hour CCS meeting did not discuss whether or not the IAF should be given permission to fire at Maoists.
The CCS clearance came in the backdrop of a police inspector being beheaded by Naxals in Jharkhand, a week after kidnapping him, and on a day when 17 policemen were gunned down by Maoists in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district.

The home ministry went to CCS for its approval after the plan was discussed threadbare with chief ministers of Naxal-affected states in the second week of September. Officials said the plan envisages the anti-Naxal operations to be led by state police while Central police forces will lend assistance. According to the plan, once an area is cleared of the Maoists, developmental activities could be carried out in full swing so that the Maoists cannot return.

Air Force and BSF helicopters will be used for reinforcements and evacuation of casualties only but not for any offensive. The operations will be carried out in 20 states affected by the Maoist menace and they will also share intelligence. The police will have the mandate to cross inter-state borders in the hunt for the Naxals.
Dr Singh last month described Left wing extremism as the gravest internal security threat and called for a nuanced strategy to tackle Naxal violence which, despite best efforts of the security forces, continues in many parts of the country. Mr Chidambaram has said the Maoists have their influence in 20 states across the country. “Over 2,000 police station areas in 223 districts in these states are partially or substantially affected by the menace,” he had said.

‘Rambo-style’ operations ruled out

Ruling out “Rambo-style operations,” the Indian Air Force (IAF) today said it would deploy its commando units to defend its helicopters and men on board in Naxal-infested areas.
“We have approached the government to fire in self-defence to protect ourselves. It is not a free-for-all where you go like Rambo and fire at everybody. There are laid down procedures. You have to ensure minimum use of force, minimum collateral damage, firing has to be permitted by the captain of the helicopter and so on,” the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, said at a function to mark the 77th anniversary of the IAF at Hindon near here.

He said the IAF request for permission to fire in self-defence did not mean an all-out “armed offensive” against the people of India. The IAF was only taking counter-measures to defend itself against firing from the ground by Maoist guerrillas who are increasingly becoming aggressive across the country.

“We are not indulging in armed offensive against the people of India. We are trying to protect our men, women and crew who fly these machines,” the Air chief said.The Statesman


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