New Delhi: The Centre has asked four Naxal-hit states to frequently hold Unified Command meetings for formulating a strategy to tackle the menace effectively. Home Minister Rajnath Singh told governments of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal to hold the Unified Command structure meetings more often so that anti-Naxal strategies could be constantly reviewed and formulated for better results.
Singh conveyed this at the Eastern Zonal Council meeting held in Ranchi on Monday, official sources said. The Unified Commands are headed by respective Chief Ministers and the Chief Secretaries, DGPs, IGPs of paramilitary force are members. This security structure is created in each Maoist-hit state for coordinated action and intelligence sharing.
The Home Minister told the four state governments to hold regularly meetings of Unified Command as irregularity could lead to a let down in the progress of the two-pronged strategy of action and development going hand-to-hand, sources said.
Singh also cited the example of Jharkhand where splinter groups of Maoists have been active and tackling them required coordination among forces and better strategy. The Zonal Council meeting took stock of various development schemes carried out in Naxal-affected areas and found that Bihar lagged in construction of fortified police stations.
Out of the 45 sanctioned fortified police stations in Bihar, 40 are yet to be constructed. However, progress in Jharkhand is better. In Jharkhand, out of 73 sanctioned fortified police stations, only two are yet to be completed, in Odisha, out of 52 sanctioned fortified police stations, 18 are yet to be constructed and in West Bengal, out of the 17 police stations, one is yet to be completed.
In 2011, the Centre had announced that it would fund construction of 400 fortified police stations in 83 worst Maoist-hit districts in the country at a cost of Rs two crore each.
The main objective of the such police stations is to check the chances of Naxals easily storming into the police stations or carrying out a direct gunfire attack from outside. Setting up double-storey building, high boundary walls, sophisticated control room and even watch towers are the fortification measures prescribed under the scheme.