Rajnath Singh said both central forces and district police will have to work under a coordinated strategy to defeat left-wing extremists. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
In a sign of things to come, the Centre today underlined the need to have “aggression” in the battle against left-wing extremism (LWE) in the country and stated that the state governments should take the ownership of anti-Naxal operations. The Centre too made it clear that officers will have to lead from the front.
“Today, we need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of such events? Should our role not be proactive? Learning from the old incidents, we need to bring aggression into our policy,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said while presiding over the day-long review meeting of left-wing extremism affected states in New Delhi today.
Today’s meeting comes in the backdrop of the April 24 ambush in Burkapal in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district in which 25 CRPF personnel were killed by Naxals. Stating that the “whole country is agitated” post-Sukma attack, Singh said that he was “concerned but not perturbed” by this attack.
The Home Minister further said that 12,000 Indian citizens—2,700 security personnel and 9,300 innocent civilians - had lost their lives in violent activities of the left-wing extremists.
“We will have to have aggression in thinking, aggression in strategy, aggression in deployment of forces, aggression in operations, aggression in development and aggression in road construction,” Singh told the meeting attended by Chief Ministers and Ministers of LWE affected states, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top officials from the Centre and states.
Stating that “extremely defensive deployment” may result in a reduction of “operational offensive”, Singh emphasised that “states take the ownership of LWE operations and CAPFs cooperate with them fully”. “At the same time, the forces on the ground level should not lack leadership. "Unity of Purpose" and "Unity of Action" are essential for the success of operations,” he said.
Rajnath further said that both the central forces and the district police will have to work under a coordinated strategy and plan. “The most important thing is that the officers will have to lead from the front. Success in this regard cannot be achieved only by sitting in Delhi, Ranchi or Raipur,” he added.
Pointing out that the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is sub-optimal currently, the Home Minister added that Mini UAVs are proving to be extremely useful and should be procured in more quantities. “We must try that with every battalion there must be atleast one UAV / Mini UAV,” Singh said.
Stating that left-wing extremists mostly looted weapons, Singh said that technologies like trackers in weapons, shoes and bullet-proof jackets, biometrics in smart gun triggers, and unique identification numbers in gelatin and other explosive materials should be used.