No immediate need for army in Maoist-hit areas: Pillai

Raipur, July 5 (Calcutta Tube) Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said Monday he felt there was no immediate need for deploying the army in the Maoist-affected areas.

‘The centre and the state government have already taken a number of steps to fight Maoists and more security personnel could be deployed in the affected areas, depending upon the requirements,’ he told media persons in Kanker district, some 140 km south from Raipur.

Pillai, who is on a three-day visit to Chhattisgarh – India’s worst Maoist insurgency-hit state – to review development and re-deployment of central paramilitary forces said: ‘It could take about three to seven years to effectively control the Maoist insurgency’.

He said that the Planning Commission was preparing an integrated action plan to be taken up in the Maoist-affected districts.

Asked about the reported lack of coordination between the state police and the para-military forces deployed in the state for counter-insurgency operations, he said it was ‘not a serious problem’.

Pillai chaired meetings of state government, police and paramilitary officials at Rajnandgaon district in the state’s western region and then at Kanker, part of 40,000 sq km Maoist stronghold Bastar region, to get inputs at the ground level about development and insurgency.

He is expected to chair similar kind of meetings Tuesday in Bastar and Dantewada districts.

The home secretary’s visit assumes significance in wake of Home Minister P.Chidambaram asking the Chhattisgarh government to revisit the deployment of paramilitary forces in the Maoist areas after the rebels ambushed the CRPF personnel in Narayanpur district on June 29, killing 27 personnel.

Chhattisgarh has been rocked by a series of blasts and gun fights in 2010 and in only past three months, the state has witnessed killings of 150 people, mostly security personnel including the massacre of 76 troopers in Dantewada district April 6.

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