New Delhi: In an inter-state meeting on security issues with the chief ministers of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the central government cannot relegate itself to mere reviewing role.
“I would like to say that under the federal structure of the country, the Centre cannot relegate itself to mere reviewing role by throwing the ball in the courts of states for taking effective action to neutralize this threat of left-wing extremism which has emerged as a challenge to internal security.
If effective steps in real sense are to be taken, then mere discussion with state governments will not suffice. Centre will also need to take concrete steps,” Nitish Kumar said in the meeting.
Bihar Chief Minister also spoke in favour of continuing financial grants for different schemes while batting for broadening their size and scope.
“Financial grants will need to be continued for the schemes initiated earlier such as – Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS), Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) and their size and scope will need to be broadened. In case the Centre decides to discontinue them or reduce grants, that will have a detrimental effect in the fight against LWE. Similarly, charging the states with 100 per cent financial burden for the deployment of central security forces is also devoid of logic. The ultimate objective cannot be achieved if the needs of states are not adequately addressed,” he added.
Nitish Kumar said that “social and economic inequality, regional imbalances in development and corruption at various levels are main causes of dissatisfaction among the deprived people and regions.”
Kumar shared that left-wing extremist activity is “very much under control at present” in Bihar.
“Date for the last five years illustrates that during the period from the year 2013-2018, violent incidents have gone down by 60 per cent (from 103 to 40), while the figures for deaths in these incidents have come down by 65 per cent (from 37 to 13),” he said.
“As of now, only the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of the central government is authorised to take action under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). I take this opportunity to mention that we had submitted a proposal to the central government that this power of confiscation of property worth up to Rs 5 crore be extended to an officer of the rank of Inspector General of Police in a state also,” he said.
He also requested the Central government to reconsider the proposal in order to effectively check money laundering.
Kumar further stated that the “stoppage of funding for SIS will adversely affect the undergoing developmental works in LWE affected districts.”
He added, “Funding for ‘Modernization of Police Forces’ (MPF) reduced from Rs 40 crore to Rs 30 crore. This amount is insufficient and needs to be enhanced manifold. In this scheme, the funding pattern for Bihar has been kept as 60:40 (Centre:State). For a state having limited resources like Bihar, this ratio should be made 90:10.”
Kumar also stated that introduction of better technology in the operations against left-wing extremists is the need of the hour.
“Modern weapons, drones, robotic tools and communication monitoring technologies not only raise the competency of security forces but also help in raising the morale of force by mitigating risk to human lives. Additional, it is suggested that every state should be provided with helicopters which will help in mobility of forces and will also be used in rescue operations, whenever required,” he said.
He further on to add that the central government has “stopped funding to three Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terrorist (CIAT) Schools with effect from the year 2015-16 which has been running since the year 2010.”
“I request the central government to provide financial assistance as it was given earlier,” he said
The meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also attended Minister of State (MoS) Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.