Govt rules out talks with Maoists

Special forces to be set up in affected states

Govt rules out talks with Maoists

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday ruled out any talks with Maoists while asking security personnel to give a “fitting reply” if the extremists challenge them.

Reviewing the anti-Maoist strategy, Singh asked top civil and police officials of 10 Maoist-affected states to adopt a uniform and concerted approach to tackle the Maoists.

“There is no question of any talks now. We will take a balanced approach. But the forces will give a befitting reply if the Maoists launch attacks,” Singh said after chairing a meeting, which was attended by Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and chiefs of paramilitary forces.

A Home Ministry official said talks with the Maoists would be held only when they shun violence and opt for dialogue.

Singh said adequate funds would be provided to equip and modernise forces. The ministry will also fund formation of special forces like the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh. The initial plan is to have new squads in the four states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Singh emphasised the need for a balanced manner through administrative leadership and political commitment in dealing with the issue. “The Centre will respond positively to the suggestions of the states in overcoming this problem in a coherent and cohesive manner.

There will be better coordination between the Centre and States,” he said.

At the four-hour meeting, Singh said the Centre would micro-manage ongoing road construction in Maoist-affected states for better and time-bound completion.

He also said projects relating to road and telecom connectivity through mobile towers should be taken up on a priority basis.

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