Centre, states must work together to deal with Maoist menace: PM

New Delhi, June 5 (ANI): Asserting that Maoist violence has no place in democratic India, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday called upon state governments to work with the Centre in combatting this menace.

Addressing a chief ministers conference on internal security here, Dr. Singh said: "The meeting today has been called in the aftermath of a brutal attack on Congress workers in Chhattisgarh. Such violence has no place in democracy."

"The Centre and States need to join hands to ensure that such events do not recur. I have noted from the agenda papers that there is a separate session on Left Wing Extremism in this conference and I would urge you to make good use of this opportunity to come up with some concrete measures to deal with the very grave threat of Naxalism," he added.

He said that Naxalism had received the Centre's attention for some time now, and they had a two-pronged strategy involving developmental measures and strikes to take on the Maoists.

"I must also emphasize here that the two-pronged strategy that we have followed so far needs to be strengthened and pursued with rigour. Even as we intensify our efforts to strengthen the security and intelligence apparatus in areas affected by Maoist violence, we should be able to ensure that people residing in Left Wing Extremist affected areas are able to live in an environment of peace and security and derive full benefits of our development efforts," he added.

He further informed that there has been a decrease in number of people who died due to Naxal violence and increase in Naxals who have surrendered.

"We have achieved some successes too. In the last couple of years there has been a substantial reduction in the number of incidents and deaths caused by Left Wing Extremist groups and an increase in the number of Naxalite surrenders. But, major violent attacks by Naxalites like the recent one in Chhattisgarh are setbacks that have occurred periodically. The Centre and States need to work together to eliminate such large-scale attacks," he said.

The chief ministers conference takes place just days after the audacious attack by the Maoists on a Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh's Bastar District.

Heavily-armed Maoists had on May 25 ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Bastar district, killing 28 people, including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar.

Former Union Minister V.C. Shukla injured in the attack is being treated at a Medanta hospital in Gurgaon. His condition is stated to be critical, but stable. (ANI)

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