Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today described the Naxal problem as the gravest challenge facing the country and asked all Maoist violence affected states to appoint “young and dynamic” district magistrates and superintendents of police to fight the rebels.
Addressing the Eastern Zonal Council (EZC) meeting here, Singh said that without peace and security, development would not come to the country. Hence, ensuring security for everyone is the primary objective of the government, he said.
“I want to appeal to all Maoist-hit states to appoint those officers who have the zeal to fight the Maoists as DMs and SPs,” he said in the presence of chief ministers of Bihar and Jharkhand and two ministers from Odisha and West Bengal. These four states, members of EZC, are all affected by the Naxal problem.
The chief ministers of Odisha and West Bengal were absent from the meet and sent their representatives.
Singh said it would be difficult to control Naxal violence without proper leadership and, therefore, it is necessary to appoint good officers in naxal-affected districts.
Maoist violence is the gravest problem facing the country and the central and state governments must fight it together, the Home Minister maintained. Meanwhile, Bihar and Jharkhand demanded additional funds for police modernisation to fight off the naxal menace. The Central government these states every possible help in this regard.
“I want to assure all necessary help from the central government in this task,” he said.
Singh said that the zonal council meetings were an ideal forum for resolving common problems faced by the states and steps would be taken to convene it regularly, possibly every six months.
The zonal councils are headed by the Union Home Minister and each zone nominates one chief minister as its vice- chairman on a rotation basis.
The zonal councils are a forum where issues between the Centre and the states, as also those between the states themselves, can be resolved through free and frank discussions and consultations. Being advisory bodies, there is full scope for free and frank exchange of views at such meetings.