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CMs of Naxal-hit states to give shape to new strategy

PTI | New Delhi |

Chief ministers of Naxalite- affected states will meet top civil and police officers here on Monday to devise new ways to tackle the armed rebels.

The meeting, to be held two weeks after 25 paramilitary personnel were killed by a band of Maoists in Chhattisgarh, will be chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

It is expected that the meet will help firm up an anti- Naxal strategy to fight the guerillas in their hideouts in Chhattisgarh and other states in the coming days, a Home Ministry official said.

The chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have been invited to take part in the crucial meeting.

District magistrates and superintendents of police of 35 of the worst-hit Naxalite-affected districts, along with heads of paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies, will attend the meeting.

It is expected to stress on revamping the intelligence gathering mechanism, meticulous analysis of ongoing operations, identifying problem areas and seeking solutions for better results.

On top of the agenda will be the issue of re-calibrating the anti-Naxal strategy to make it more effective and to minimise casualties, the official said.

The home minister has told the security officials to look for out-of-the box solutions to the problem of successive attacks by Naxalites when security personnel oversee road repair or development work in the troubled areas.

Road construction and other development activities in the affected areas will also be discussed. The chief ministers may endorse an alternative modern technology which would help with the speedy completion of projects.

Home Ministry officials said currently 90 per cent of Maoist activities were limited to 35 districts, though they have a hold over pockets in 68 districts in 10 states.