Amit Shah's Meeting With Chief Ministers Of Maoist-Hit States On Sunday: Report
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair a high-level meeting with the chief ministers of 10 Maoist-hit states in Delhi on Sunday to review the current status as well as to discuss future road map for security and development issues, said official sources."The meeting is significant as it is learnt to push fresh strategy in the fight against the left-wing extremism (LWE) in 10 Naxal affected states," official sources told ANI.The meeting will be held at Vigyan Bhawan where chief ministers of the 10 Maoist-affected states -- Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh -- or their representatives will apprise about the current situation in their states and the progress of developmental projects.As per sources, a similar Maoist-related meeting is held every year once or twice as per the need of the situation. "Due to COVID-19, this meeting did not occur last year," said sources.Chief Ministers and their representatives will be sharing the measures so far taken by their state administrations to handle the Maoists.The Director Generals of Police along with chief secretaries of the 10 states and heads of paramilitary forces will also attend the meeting where Intelligence Bureau (IB) is expected to make a presentation on the issue.Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, IB Director Arvind Kumar and senior Home Ministry officials will be attending the meeting.Sources said that an invitation was sent from Mr Shah's office earlier this week to take stock of the Maoist activities and discuss measures on how to tackle Maoism.The meet will have a special emphasis on Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra as well as to ensure a proper bonding with state government and police with paramilitary deployed there during Maoist operations.The Centre is stated to be planning to intensify operations in the Maoist-affected areas in Chhattisgarh where major attacks were witnessed in the last few years hitting security forces.The killing of 22 security personnel in Chhattisgarh on April 3 in one of the biggest Maoist attacks this year would be the hot topic of the meeting, said sources, adding "intelligence and other lapses would be discussed with a plan not to repeat such things in future by taking a lesson from the incident".The role of Central Reserve Police Force's (CRPF) Cobra and Bastariya battalions in Chhattisgarh in the fight against Maoists would also be focussed, said the sources."The Centre's main emphasis is to capture top Naxal leadership or invite them to surrender and mix up with main strengths to help the government in creating development and peace in LWE states," they said.Sources said that Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Andhra Pradesh's Jagan Mohan Reddy and their Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray are expected to attend the meeting as these leaders earlier this week took a state-level review of the Maoist situation.While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may send a representative for the meeting, her Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel is yet to take a call.States like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, which have skeletal-level Maoist cadres, are also expected to join the meeting.Reports shared by central agencies from time to time with the Union home ministry have hinted towards the weaker situation in Maoist leadership due to some deaths. Reports said police, as well as paramilitary camps, are reaching interiors of the affected districts.More than three dozen senior leaders of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) have reportedly left the group in May, June and July to avail medical treatment due to COVID-19, which has led to a leadership crisis.Haribhushan, the head of CPI (Maoist), Telangana Unit, died in June due to COVID-19. His wife Dhradha, a Maoist commander, also succumbed to the virus.According to the Chhattisgarh police, nearly 100 Maoists, including Sujata, a member of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, who was carrying a bounty of Rs 25 lakh, also succumbed to the infection.Besides, sources said, over 300 operations carried out in Maoist-hit states so far has weekend their operations.