States agree with MHA on Naxal hostage policy, seek more time

At a meeting called by the Union Home Ministry on Thursday, the chief secretaries and DGPs of the nine states affected by Naxalism discussed issues ranging from hostage policy to development of roads. Soon after the abduction of district collectors in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, the Centre in its draft policy had proposed that there will be ‘no swap deals’ with the Maoists. During a discussion on the draft policy, the states are learnt to have consented to the Centre’s suggestions but sought more time to finalise the decision.

The MHA stressed on the need to improve both the ability of the special forces in the states and the investigations of Maoist cases. “We have asked them to create SITs to probe into the incidents in which Naxals are involved, including where an important leader of the CPI(Maoist) has been caught. The trial in such cases needs to be followed by the SIT,” said an MHA official. It was observed that CPI(Maoist) cadres took advantage of the area left unguarded by the Central security forces and police. “It was decided that the states need to build more police stations and equip them properly.

We advised them that they should recruit and raise their forces to combat the Naxals. The forces should be deployed along with other paramilitary forces in important corridors within the states,” said the official. It was decided that “a mission mode plan” for underdeveloped areas like Bastar and Saranda to address development-related issues should be taken up by all the nine states. On the development of roads in LWE areas, the Centre asked the states to divide the work into small compartments and use local contractors.

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