The Centre on Thursday said it was confident of overcoming the Maoist problem in the next three years and had prepared a two-pronged strategy of initiating development and police action in the affected areas.
Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Home Minister P Chidambaram expressed confidence that the challenge of Left-wing extremism would be met jointly by the central and state governments.
"The government was confident that the problem of Left-wing extremism would be overcome in the next three years," he said. Chidambaram said after consultations with the Naxal-affected states, it was agreed to have a two-pronged strategy to handle the Maoist issue -- development and police action.
While the Central government acknowledged that the primary role and responsibility was that of state governments in enforcing law and order in confronting the challenge of left wing extremists, it also recognised its responsibility in assisting the states in every way, he said.
The home minister said the Centre was assisting the states by providing para-military forces, sharing intelligence and funding both development schemes and security needs.
Chidambaram informed the Parliamentarians that in a meeting of chief ministers of seven Naxal-affected states on July 14, it was agreed that a Unified Command would be set up in four states -- West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand -- for anti-Naxal operations.
Besides, the Centre would provide these states additional helicopters for logistical support, funds for establishment and strengthening of 400 police stations recruiting additional special police officers.
It was also agreed to set up an Empowered Group chaired by Member Secretary, Planning Commission, to review existing norms and guidelines in implementation of various development schemes, having regard t local needs like road connectivity, primary education, primary health care and drinking water.
During the discussions, the members broadly agreed with the suggestions given in the agenda note which included steps on both security and development fronts.
According to an estimate, about 40,000 sq km areas in these states are under the control of Maoists. Naxal violence has claimed the lives of over 10,000 civilians and security personnel in the last five years.
Out of a total of 10,268 casualties between 2005 and May this year, 2,372 deaths have been reported in 2009 as against 1,769 in 2008 and 1,737 in 2007.