Maoists have capacity to launch lethal strikes: Shinde

New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) Maoists have the capacity to launch lethal strikes in their strongholds, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Friday and noted security agencies have a lot of ground to cover to neutralise the guerrillas.

Addressing a meeting of parliament's consultative committee attached to his ministry to discuss the Maoist issue, Shinde said role of central paramilitary forces was vital in dealing with the ultras "since 90 battalions have been deployed for anti-Naxal operations".

According to an official release, Shinde said the Communist Party of India-Maoist "still has the capacity to launch strikes in its stronghold areas, especially against soft targets".

Shinde said the government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy in partnership with the states affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) related to security, development, rights and entitlement and improvement in governance.

He said the government has taken steps to build capacity of state police forces through security related expenditure, special infrastructure scheme, fortified police station scheme, civic action programme, setting up of counter insurgency and anti-terrorism schools and raising India Reserve Battalions.

The minister said the Planning Commission was implementing Integrated Action Plan since 2010 for creating infrastructure in 82 districts of the country, majority of which are facing LWE problem.

He said the central government is constantly endeavouring for a "uniform, well-coordinated and synergised response" to deal with the Maoist problem.

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