Choke Maoists' funds, make them reel, Rajnath tells Naxal-affected state heads

Rajiv Mehrishi said government's demonetisation move helped choke Maoist funds

The home minister called for a strategic and unified command of all states to have a "unity for purpose".

Topping the agenda is the issue of re-calibrating strategy to make it more effective and to minimise casualties.

Ruling out Army assistance in anti-naxal operations, Mr Mehrishi said there will be more coordination between the States and central forces after removing all differences.

Highlighting the pro-active surrender and rehabilitation policy of the state government, Patnaik said: "Determined efforts of the state to contain the extremist activities have been substantially successful in weaning away the population in the affected areas of the state from the ideology of violence and extremism".

"Today, we need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of such events?"

The Home Minister's remarks came during his inaugural address at the day-long security review meeting here with the Chief Ministers of Maoist-affected states, days after leftist rebels killed at least 25 paramilitary troopers in Chhattisgarh.

The Home Minister added that left-wing extremist groups were trying to weaken democracy in the country but would "never succeed" in doing so.

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District magistrates and superintendents of police of 35 worst-hit Naxal-affected districts along with heads of paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies are also attending the high-level security meet.

"There is need to depute shadow intelligence officers to track prominent targets associated with Left Wing Extremism (LWE)", Singh said. To prevent use of looted weapons and pilfered explosives by Maoists, forces were advised to have trackers in weapons and gear like bullet-proof jackets, biometrics in smart gun triggers and unique identification number for gelatine and other explosive materials.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar criticised the Centre for stopping funds for crucial schemes to fight Naxals and for refusing the state's request for a helicopter for quick deployment of forces in anti-Maoist operations.

Rajnath Singh also raised the need to ensure that the residential camps of security forces should be well equipped with power, water facility and better connectivity.

Other technologies being considered include high resolution PTZ cameras, Global Positioning System tracking, hand-held thermal imaging, radar, satellite imaging etc. To this end, he said a strategic and unified command should be formed - as a first step to which, the command headquarters of the CRPF has been shifted from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh's Raipur.

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. Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were represented by ministers and West Bengal and Telangana by their chief secretary and DGP.

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