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Steps taken to combat Maoists yielding results: Pillai

Raipur, July 6 (Calcutta Tube) Steps taken to combat Maoist insurgency had slowly started yielding results, union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said here Tuesday.

Giving details about the ongoing anti-Maoist drives in many Chhattisgarh districts, he cited the example of tribal-dominated Kanker district and noted that ration shops had opened and weekly markets were being held in remote areas because of the presence of security forces.

‘Now ration shops are opened, regular weekly markets are being held, school buildings are being constructed and more importantly, contractors are now eager for bidding for the tenders being floated for development scheme in the area,’ he added.

‘We do realise that we do not have adequate number of forces. It could take some time to recruit the personnel and provide them with training before being put in the Maoist areas,’ he said after touring Maoist-hit pockets in India’s worst leftist insurgency-hit state Chhattisgarh and chairing a security review meet here.

‘It is the firm commitment of the government to complete the anti-Naxalite (Maoist) operations once adequate number of state police personnel and central paramilitary forces (CPMF) were recruited, trained and deployed in the affected areas,’ he added.

Pillai Monday visited Rajnandgaon district in state’s western region and then Kanker, part of the 40,000 sq km Maoist stronghold Bastar region, to get inputs from the ground level about development and insurgency. He said he felt there was no immediate need for deployment of army in the Maoist areas.

Pillai had put off his trip to restive Dantewada Tuesday as his chopper did not take off from Raipur due to poor weather but he held a security review meeting in the state capital before flying back to New Delhi.

He also met Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior civil and police officials, including district collectors of Dantewada and Bijapur districts.

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

Chhattisgarh has been rocked by a series of blasts and gun fights in year 2010. In the last three months alone, more than 150 people have been killed, mostly security personnel. This includes the massacre of 76 security personnel in Dantewada district April 6.

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