Centre, state need to join hands in fighting Maoists: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that Naxal violence has no place in democracy and the Centre and state governments must work together to deal with the ‘very grave threat’ posed by Maoists.

Addressing Chief Ministers at the annual Internal Security Conference, he said time has come to view the challenges of terrorism, communal violence and Left Wing Extremism in a holistic manner, rising above narrow, political and ideological divides.

Singh said an All-Party meeting will be held on June 10 to build a broader national consensus on the strategy to tackle the Naxalite challenge which comes in the aftermath of the brutal attack by Maoists on Congress leaders and workers and their security personnel in Chhattisgarh.

The Prime Minister stressed that the Centre and States should join hands to ensure that such events do not recur.

“I have noted from the agenda papers that there is a separate session on Left Wing Extremism in this conference and I would urge you to make good use of this opportunity to come up with some concrete measures to deal with the very grave threat of Naxalism,” he said.

Chhattisgarh attack is a setback

Stressing that Chhattisgarh Naxal attack was a ‘setback’ to the success story achieved by the Government in tackling the Maoists, the Prime Minister said the Centre had already started taking steps like further strengthening defensive and offensive capabilities against Left Wing Extremists.

“I hope the state governments will cooperate fully with us and add to the effectiveness of these efforts,” he added.

PM shows concern about women and child security

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also sought setting up of an institutional mechanism for safety and security of women and children, especially in urban areas, saying collective action was required for their protection.

Addressing the conference, Singh said the issue which requires collective action was that of crimes against women and children for which the government has enacted several laws providing stringent punishment and more sensitive treatment of victims during investigation and trial.

“We also need to put in place institutional mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of women and children, particularly in the urban context. Such mechanisms include sensitization of police personnel, particularly at levels with which the victim comes into contact, setting up dedicated help lines, measures for safety at the work place, and so on. I would urge all of you to explore how these outcomes can be best achieved,” he said.

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