New Delhi: Calling naxalism the “biggest threat” to peace and security in the country, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said he is concerned about it’s spread to economically backward areas and asked the CRPF to handle the situation with sensitivity.
“I am particularly concerned over the spread of Left-Wing Extremism in some of the more backward areas of the economy. In part, it is a reflection of our failure in meeting the expectations of the local people,” Mukherjee said while officiating as the chief guest at the 71st Raising day celebrations of CRPF in the national capital.
The government has deployed almost 60,000 personnel (sixty battalions) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to undertake anti-naxal operations in various states affected by Maoist activities.
“Maoist threat is one of the biggest threat to peace and security…it is easy to misguide people who have been denied their legitimate demands or deprived of their rights and where the state has not shown adequate sensitivity in sharing and mitigating the local concerns.
“However, implementation of any corrective public measures requires a certain degree of normalcy to prevail in the affected areas,” Mukherjee said.
“It is vital to dovetail the developmental efforts of the state in these areas with your operational strategy and practice. While we should be firm, decisive and unrelenting in dealing with the armed component of the extremism, a great degree of sensitivity, patience and maturity will have to be exhibited in dealing with the general population in the affected areas,” he said after reviewing the parade of the world’s largest paramilitary force which has a strength of three lakh personnel.
“I urge you (security forces like CRPF) to handle the situation with sensitivity and a firm resolve with a view to bring back the disgruntled elements of the society into the mainstream of developmental process,” he said.
“Today the peace and security of the country is being challenged by threats emanating from cross-border terrorism, insurgency in north eastern areas and the emergence of Left Wing Extremism in certain parts of the country. These have direct implications not only for the development and prosperity of the affected regions but also affect the overall well being of our society.
“We need to address these concerns urgently and in totality,” he said.
Mukherjee said that the writ of the constitution should be implemented across the country.
“We as the custodians of the Constitution of India have a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to ensure that the writ of the Constitution runs throughout the length and breadth of the country with no exceptions. It is our solemn duty to confront all forces which stand in the way of implementing it’s provisions. Herein lies the biggest challenge before you (security forces),” he said.