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Rajnath calls for ‘unity of purpose’ to tackle Naxals

New Delhi: Asserting that naxal problem cannot be resolved through silver bullets, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday called for a proactive strategy to counter Maoists with an emphasis on smart leadership, aggression and financial choking.

Chairing a meeting of Chief Ministers and top officials of 10 naxal-infested states, Singh came up with ‘SAMADHAN’, an acronym for the strategy — smart leadership, aggression, motivation, actionable intelligence and dashboard based Key Performance Indicators and Areas that includes harnessing technology and denying Maoists access to funds.

He was confident that the country will successfully confront the naxals with “full force and new strategy” and wanted the states to take the ownership of Maoist operations and paramilitary forces actively cooperating with them.

“The forces on the ground level should not lack leadership. Unity of purpose and unity of action are essential for the success of operations,” he said at the meeting which Chief Ministers of West Bengal (Mamata Banerjee), Andhra Pradesh (N Chandrababu Naidu), Telangana (K Chandrasekhara Rao) and Madhya Pradesh (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) skipped.

At the meeting which comes a fortnight after the killing of 25 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, he said the whole country is agitated over the incident and the Maoists cadres are constantly trying to inflict losses on security forces to boost their cadre’s morale.

“Today we need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of any incident or we should be more proactive,” he said as he invoked the US commission on 9/11 attack which noted it was not just an intelligence failure but imagination failure that resulted in the attack.

“We too need to work out on that…Naxal problem cannot be resolved through silver bullets or any short cut but through short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions,” he said adding “foundation principle” of fighting the naxals is through “financial choking”.

He emphasised the need for security forces adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). There is also need to depute shadow intelligence officers to track prominent targets associated with Maoist outfits, he added.

Pegging the loss of lives of people due to Maoists violence in last 20 years at 12,000, Singh said Maoist groups are trying to weaken the largest democracy in the world but they will never succeed in suppressing democracy and development in the country. “I am sure that the attempts to stall development and throttle democracy at gunpoint will not be successful ever,” he said.

Technologies pertaining to space, IT and communication should be used on a greater scale to counter Maoist problem. We need to use UAVs, high-end cameras, GPS tracking, thermal imaging and radar and satellite images, he said.

“Smart leadership full of self confidence should have a solid vision and he should prepare his team in a mission mode. Unified Coordination and Command is needed on the LWE front. Along with strategic command unified command is also required at operation level,” he added.