Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar slammed Centre for stopping funds for schemes to combat Naxals and ‘declining’ the state’s request for a helicopter for quick deployment of forces in anti-Maoist operations, during a review meeting on Naxalism, organized by the Home Ministry.
Kumar lashed out at Centre saying that, “the Centre cannot relegate itself to a mere reviewing role by throwing the ball in the court of states for taking effective action to neutralize this threat of Left Wing Extremism which has emerged as a challenge to internal security.”
The Bihar CM suggested several measures to fight Maoist violence. “If effective steps are to be taken, then a mere discussion with state governments will not suffice… the Centre will also need to take concrete steps.”
He also added that regional inequalities must be tackled with development. The youth involved in Naxalite activities should be brought to the mainstream societies. It is important to execute development schemes in the backward areas in a proper way. The expectation from Center is high for better implementation of the schemes meant for the Naxal-affected areas. The Center has stopped many schemes already running for these areas.
Bihar, which has six of the 35 Naxal-affected districts in the nation, has recorded a reduction of 60 percent in violent incidents – from 316 to 129 – between 2011 and 2016, informed CM.
He stressed that the previous government had introduced schemes for capacity enhancement of security forces and to tackle local disparity in Naxal-affected states such as Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), Integrated Action Plan (IAP) and Security Related Expenditure (SRE).
“These schemes produced good results. Since last year the SIS and IAP schemes have been discontinued and ironically this happened when we were hoping that the government would further strengthen these schemes and enhance resources,” he said.
The stoppage of funding had unfavorably affected the undergoing developmental mechanism undertaken, especially, under these schemes in affected districts. Kumar emphasized the need to continue these financial grants initiated earlier including Modernization of Police Fund among others.
“In case the Centre decides to discontinue them or reduce grants, it will have a detrimental effect in the fight against LWE. Similarly, imposing the states with 100 per cent financial burden for deployment of central security forces is also devoid of logic. The ultimate objective cannot be achieved if the needs of states are not adequately addressed. Fight against Left Wing Extremism is a joint responsibility of the Centre and State. Therefore the financial burden should also be shared by both,” he said.
Here are steps suggested by CM Nitish Kumar to tackle Naxalism:
- The government started special structure planning, integrated action plan, and security related expenses earlier that produced positive results. But, funds for these crucial schemes were stopped last year. Resuming these schemes will help a lot in tackling the issue.
- Helicopter deployment must be done in all the Naxalism-affected states.
- The center used to give 40 cr annually for the modernization of the police till 2015. But it had reduced the amount to 25 cr last year. The ratio of state has been increased to 90:10. Centre should support the state to combat the issue together.
- The Center should provide additional funds for speedier implementation of the action plan in the Naxal-affected areas.
- There should be an institutional arrangement focused on the left wing extremism. The organization should keep records of all Naxal-related incidents and analyze them to form a strategy. CRPF can be a suitable option for this.
- More and more experiments are needed on modern technology. Other technologies including weapons, drones, robotic instruments, communication media, etc. should be provided.
- The Center has stopped giving financial assistance to the three ‘Counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist school’ operated from Bihar in 2015-16. The state government is operating these schools at their own expenses. Provide financial support for the same.