Naxalism an old problem, need two-pronged strategy to tackle it: Venkaiah Naidu

Raipur: Terming naxalism a 50-year-old problem in the country, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu on Friday proposed a two-pronged approach to tackle the red "challenge".

"Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is the fifty-year problem of this country and naxals don't want the development of tribal-dominated areas. The two-pronged approach of rapid development and strong steps under the law and order framework in the region can eliminate this menace," the information and broadcasting minister told reporters in Raipur.

He was replying to a query on coordination between Central and state forces fighting naxals in Chhattisgarh.

"Naxals believe that bullet is more powerful than ballot, but we believe that ballot is more powerful than bullet. They are engaged in disrupting development works including setting up of schools and construction of roads in tribal areas," the BJP leader said.

 Naxalism an old problem, need two-pronged strategy to tackle it: Venkaiah Naidu

File image of Union minister Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

Admitting that naxalism is a challenge, he said the Centre and state governments are working together to tackle the issue.

Recently, the union Home minister had convened a meeting with the states to devise strategy in this direction.

Citing example of Greyhounds force in Andhra Pradesh, he said that concerned state governments are fighting the LWE with a better strategy and naxals are losing their ground gradually.

The minister underlined the need to train police and CRPF personnel in jungle warfare tactics.

"Besides, there is also the need to make people (living in naxal affected area) aware," he said while stressing that security forces involved in anti-Maoist operations should be given a special training.

Naidu said he has directed officials of his departments to make people living in the insurgency-hit areas aware about the government schemes.

Hitting out at rights activists, the minister said it is unfortunate that they remain silent over deadly Maoist attacks but raise a hue and cry when ultras are killed or arrested by security forces.

"Those who talk about human rights, raise their voice and shout if a naxal is killed or arrested by police, saying it is violation of their human rights. However, they remain silent when a large number of jawans get killed by ultras..Do Maoists have rights to kill innocent jawans?" he asked.

A total of 25 CRPF personnel were massacred by underground guerrillas in Chhattisgarh's Sukma in April.

Altogether 37 CRPF personnel have been killed by Naxalites in the state in less than two months.

Updated Date: May 26, 2017 22:40:28 IST