Trackers in weapons, biometrics in smart guns soon: Rajnath's anti-Naxal plan

Trackers in weapons, biometrics in smart guns soon: Rajnath's anti-Naxal plan

Among the absentees are West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Telangana's KC Rao and Andhra Pradesh's N Chandrababu Naidu.

The meeting, though planned earlier, comes in the backdrop of the April 24 Maoist ambush of CRPF personnel in Sukma when 25 jawans were killed.

Stressing the need for pre-emptive action, Singh said: "Should we react only after the attack?"

In a sign of things to come, the Centre today underlined the need to have "aggression" in the battle against left-wing extremism (LWE) in the country and stated that the state governments should take the ownership of anti-Naxal operations.

Later briefing media, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said, the Home Ministry will set up a committee to maintain coordination between Central Paramilitary Forces and State police forces in Left Wing Extremism affected states.

He has suggested the use of technologies and gadgets like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones), pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, Global Positioning System tracking and thermal imaging to track Naxalite movement in states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

Around 12,000 people have lost their lives to Maoist violence in last 20 years, he said, expressing "confidence that together, with the new strategy and new force, we will confront the Naxals and will be successful against them".

Talking about the welfare of securitymen deployed in Naxal-affected areas, who often face fatigue and stress, the home minister said it was important that their camps have better facilities for power, water and mobile phone connectivity.

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Most states requested for helicopter support for operations, and the use of modern technology by the police and the CAPF was also discussed.

"I am convinced that their martyrdom will not go in vain".

The Naxal problem can not be resolved through "silver bullets" or any shortcut but through short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions, said Mr Singh, who is chairing the meeting. "We should start a mission with a clear aim to rid Sukma of this problem", Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh said. Aggression in thinking, aggression in strategy, aggression in deployment of forces, aggression in operations, in development and in road construction. Also, aids like PTZ cameras, Global Positioning System tracking and satellite imagery must be employed.

Under the SRE Scheme, Singh said, reimbursement of security-related expenses such as ex-gratia, transportation, training, honorarium for special police officers etc, was done by the central government in 106 districts of 10 states.

The meeting will help firm up anti-Naxal strategy to fight the guerillas in their hideouts.

An official release said a holistic review of the situation will be undertaken covering security and development issues, particularly infrastructure building.

The chief ministers of Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand were in attendance.

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