West Bengal may have Guerrilla Bases of Maoists: Home Minister
Naxal violence is yet to abate in the worst-affected states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa even as there are reports that Maoists have directed their West Bengal unit to develop guerrilla bases in Jangalmahal, Home Minister P Chidambaram said.
He said Left Wing Extremism was the most violent movement in the country and the CPI (Maoist) the most violent organisation.
"I regret to point out that there is no significant decline in violence in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Orissa.
Even in West Bengal, there are reports that the state unit has been instructed by CPI (Maoist) to develop guerrilla bases in Jangalmahal and to intensify conflict," he said addressing the DGPs and IGPs conference.
"The CPI (Maoist) has added at least four companies to the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army and its goal remains seizure of power through an armed liberation struggle," he said.
Chidambaram said he has always maintained that dealing with Left Wing Extremism was a shared responsibility of the Centre and the states.
"Although the number of incidents and the number of casualties seem to indicate a decrease in the level of violence, this is largely attributable to the changed situation in West Bengal," he said.
The Home Minister asked the Directors General of Police to take ownership of counter insurgency measures and devise short and medium term strategies against Left Wing Extremism.
The Home Minister said the cooperation between the Centre and the states has yielded good results but there is still a long distance to travel and more years of hard work.
"The Central government has shouldered its share of responsibility in dealing with Left Wing Extremism," he said.
Chidambaram said the Centre has deployed 71 battalions of Central Armed Police Forces as against 37 in 2009 and the budget allocation under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme has been increased to Rs 337 crore in 2011-12 as against only Rs 80 crore in 2008-09.
Likewise, the budget allocation under Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) has been increased to Rs 140 crore in 2011-12 as against only Rs 30 crore in 2009-10 and the Central government has offered to fund 400 fortified police stations at a cost of Rs 2 crore per police station.
"We have sanctioned the raising of 13 Special IR Battalions that will have security and engineering components to support and implement development works. More helicopters are being inducted and other technological support is also being provided," he said.
The Home Minister said the Integrated Action Plan has placed Rs 3,300 crore with the district administration of 60 districts and 67,175 works are under implementation.
"Eighteen more districts will be added in 2012-13 and I am told that the Ministry of Rural Development will implement the scheme next year with the changes suggested by the Conference of District Collectors held two days ago. In addition, more funds will be provided under the flagship schemes," he said.