Maoist-hit states asked to follow AP model

Maoist-hit states asked to follow AP model

Special session to focus on countering red terror

The Centre proposes to impress on the nine Maoist-infested states to adopt the Andhra Pradesh model of tackling red terror in their 82 districts during the chief ministers’ conference on internal security scheduled here for Wednesday.

With the Bastar attacks virtually wiping out top level Congress leadership in Chhattisgarh, the United Progressive Alliance is now pushing left wing extremists to the top of its road map. The ministry that usually takes up the Maoist problems during the chief ministers’ meet is now asking for a special session on Wednesday that would focus on countering red terrorism.

Government sources complained that top police officials in the states do not consider special strategies for counter offensive and end up having large casualties. North Block officials agree that the battle is unlikely to be won with mere CRPF firepower.

Focusing on “ground zero,” which means strengthening local police stations, is the key to any counter-Maoist strategy architecture.

The officials may persuade chief ministers and directors-general of police to strengthen superintendents at the district level, which is the first point of attack at the red corridor.

Focus should be on capacity building through specialised training to everyone in the rank, right from the constabulary to the IPS officers, to carry out counter-offensive operations, sources said.

Building security into development planning, making administration pro-people and announcing welfare schemes to dispel Maoist propaganda of overthrowing the state are among measures to be suggested.

Rehabilitating surrendered Maoists should be given special care so that it becomes a means of luring away others from the ultra left ideology that has scant respect for democratic values.  Though the public view of the AP model is usually the grey hounds and elite strike force raised from the state police, government sources pointed out that there is also an intelligence set-up under the State Intelligence Bureau and effective local police stations.

Recently, the Centre has cleared funds for establishing grey hound-type combat units in Maoist-hit states of Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, UP, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.