Centre reads riot act to states for targeting Maoists

India, June 7 -- The Centre told naxal-affected states to stop playing the "blame game" and cooperate with one another in targeting armed Maoist guerrillas and their leaders.

The central government's advice came at the three-hour long discussion at the conference of chief ministers on Thursday where states agreed to put an action plan in place.

"The point has conveyed that there is no seamless coordination between states which translates into effective operations. In fact, some states have stopped communicating with others which results in tactical advantage to the Maoists," a government source said.

"We are convinced that inter-state coordination at the state, district and the police station level should be energised without any blame game," the source said, emphasising that the states agreed that state police had to assume the leadership role in the anti-Maoist offensive.

The home ministry also told heads of central police forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force and the Border Security Force that they needed to pull up their socks too.

Security experts pointed out that the leadership of the CRPF and BSF - that account for most of the central forces deployed in the naxal heartland - had not displayed the desired level of initiative to encourage field commanders to carry out operations along with the states.

It was in this context that the home ministry used the chief ministers' conference to send a clear message to central forces to "improve their tactics" and put standard operating procedures in place that encourage mobility of forces across naxal territory.

The Centre also tried to persuade the political leadership of the states to adopt a uniform approach.

Shinde to states: NCTC with your approval

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has promised not to push through the controversial plan to set up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) unless there was consensus amongst chief ministers.

Shinde gave this assurance at the CMs' conference on Wednesday after several states including three Congress chief ministers conveyed their reservations at the proposed structure and powers of NCTC.

Neither Prime Minister Manmohan Singh nor Shinde had earlier responded to the concerns expressed by states during the proceedings.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


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