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Naxal menace remains a major problem: UPA report

May 22, 2011 20:47 IST

Admitting there is a development deficit in areas affected by Left-wing extremism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said his government is determined to address the deficit, while maintaining that the menace remains a "major problem."

In his foreword in the "Government of the UPA: Report to the People", Singh said the United Progressive Alliance government has always adopted a nuanced approach in dealing with Left-wing extremism.

"We will deal firmly with extremism but we also recognise that there is a development deficit in the areas affected by left-wing extremism and we are determined to address this deficit," Singh said.

He said the government launched an Integrated Action Plan for accelerated development of 60 selected tribal and backward districts in 2010-11 which will be continued in 2011-12 also.

On external security, Singh said the government continued its focus on modernisation of armed forces and indigenous production of advanced weapon systems.

"During 2010-11, the indigenously developed light combat aircraft, Tejas, was cleared for operations by the Air Force and the first indigenously designed and built stealth frigate -- INS Shivalik was commissioned," Singh said.

He said two regiments of the indigenous main battle tank, Arjun, were operationalised by the army. The report noted that except for an attack on foreign tourists in Delhi and a low intensity bomb blast in Varanasi, there was no major terrorist incident in 2010-11.

Dwelling on the internal security measures taken by the government, the report said the National Investigation Agency has now been fully operationalised, with headquarters in Delhi and branch offices in Cyberabad and Guwahati.

"23 cases have been entrusted to it, out of which charge-sheets have been filed in 15 cases," the report says.

On steps to counter Left-wing extremism, the report said these included setting up of a unified command in each of the states of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa, and launching of a new scheme to assist state governments in construction or strengthening of 400 fortified police stations at Rs 2 crore each in left wing extremism affected district.

The report said to ensure the defence preparedness of the country, the UPA government continued its focus on modernisation of the armed forces and indigenous production of advanced weapons systems.

"A new Defence Production Policy was drawn up, with the objective of achieving self reliance in defence production," the report said.

The report said a new Defence Production Policy was drawn up with the objective of achieving self reliance in defence production.

"Important items of defence equipment and systems produced during the year by the ordnance factories and the public sector undertakings included battle tanks, aerial platforms, missile systems, coastal security boats, fast attack crafts, battle field surveillance radars, naval radars ship borne electronic warfare system, mine protected vehicles and infantry combat vehicles," it said.

During the year 2010-11, an amount of Rs 1,225 crore was released to various states under the Scheme of Modernisation of State Police Forces, which is an important initiative for capacity building of state police forces.

Under the Coastal Security Scheme, Phase-I, 71 out of 73 coastal police stations and 92 out of 97 check-posts have been made operational.

196 out of 204 boats have been delivered by shipyards to coastal States and Union Territories, it said. On border infrastructure, it said the construction of 156 km of fencing, 169 km of border roads and 400 km of floodlighting was completed along the Indo-Bangladesh border, and construction of 76 border out posts commenced on the Indo- Bangladesh and the Indo-Pakistan borders.

In the Gujarat sector, along the Indo-Pakistan border, construction of 20 km of fencing and 25 km of border roads was completed.

Formation works in 198.96 km and surfacing works in 21.26 km of 21 strategic roads were also completed along the Indo-China border.

During 2010-11, an amount of Rs 691 crore has been released to border States under the Border Area Development Programme. To facilitate trans-border movement of goods and people, 13 integrated check-posts are being set up at designated entry points on the international land borders of the country, at an estimated cost of Rs 635 crore, it said.

In the first phase, construction of seven integrated check-posts has been taken up, viz, Attari (India-Pakistan), Raxaul (India- Nepal), Jogbani (India-Nepal), Dawki (India- Bangladesh), Akhaura (India-Bangladesh), Moreh (India-Myanmar) and Petrapole (India-Bangladesh). The Land Ports Authority of India Act, 2010 has been enacted and action is under way to operationalise the authority, which will undertake the construction, management and maintenance of the integrated check-posts, the report added.

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