Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) promised to provide all support to Jharkhand in its fight against Left Wing Extremism (LWE) with funds for accelerated growth of Naxal-hit areas under Integrated Action Plan (IAP).
Holding a review meeting with Chief Ministers of Naxal-affected States including Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda in Delhi on Wednesday, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram expressed displeasure over Naxal incidents in which 28 State police forces lost their lives in three serial incidents – two in Latehar and one in Garhwa. But at the same time Chidambaram assured deployment of additional security forces in Jharkhand if the State required it.
Outlining measures on the security front Chidambaram, top sources said, assured more CoBRA and Jaguar forces for precise offensive in Jharkhand. Quite likely, few companies of CoBRA could be shifted to Jharkhand from Chhattisgarh.
But Jharkhand could not secure commitment from MHA over total or partial waiver of outstanding dues of `794 crore against the deployment of central security forces for anti-Naxal operation in Jharkhand from 2007 up to now.
On the security front, State officials informed Chidambaram that rebels had shifted their area of operation from Saranda to Latehar, Palamu and Garhwa. To a greater extent, security forces reclaimed Saranda which happened to be the base of Maoist operatives over the years running parallel government. After Maoists shifted base from Saranda to Latehar, Palamu and Garhwa districts, MHA asked for vigorous operation in these areas.
“Centre has assured us all logistic support for concentrated security operations in these areas to flush out Maoists elements,” DK Tiwari, Principle Secretary to the CM said.
Chidambaram also sought suggestions from Jharkhand and other States over formation of special dedicated forces to hunt top Maoist leaders, sources confided.
Over delay in funding for roads in the Naxal-hit areas under IAP, Munda asked
Chidambaram to expedite process of the release of funds. “Often delay in releasing funds creates problem. For instance we received the first allotment for road construction under the first phase of IAP only last month…process must be expedited,” Munda told The Pioneer over telephone from Delhi.
On the ongoing process of recruitment of police forces in Jharkhand, Munda apprised Home Minister that the State is in the process of recruiting 7,000 constables and 400 inspector-level officials. “In fact, in these years we have increased the number of police forces. The total strength of Jharkhand Police forces at base level is around 22,000. We substantially increased the strength of force by another 50,000. There are 17,000 vacant posts for which recruitment process has been started,” Munda said.