Union Home Minister Amit Shah has told the Central Reserve Police Force’s senior officers that “action needs to be taken against urban Naxals and their facilitators”, The Hindu reported on Saturday. He made the remarks the day before after visiting the paramilitary force’s headquarters in New Delhi, where Director General RR Bhatnagar gave him a detailed presentation.
Urban Naxals is a term coined by the government to refer to supporters of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the cities. However, the government’s critics accuse it of branding any dissident with the label in order to silence them. Last year, Pune Police arrested 10 human rights activists and scholars for their alleged link to the banned Maoist party. They are still in jail, and are facing legal proceedings.
In a press release, the armed police force said the minister also discussed the security situation in states where Maoists are present, and measures for improving the infrastructure of camps, and steps being taken to guard against improvised explosive devices. He also urged the CRPF to step up its fight against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The home minister directed the CRPF to carry out an effective and decisive campaign against Left-Wing Extremism in the next six months,” said the force. “Action needs to be taken against the urban Naxals and their facilitators.” Shah reportedly stressed on the need to improve road connectivity and medical infrastructure in areas where Maoists are active.
The home minister asked the paramilitary organisation to implement civic action programmes, and organise sports tournaments and tours for local people and youngsters in conflict zones, NDTV reported. Shah said the CRPF should reach out to villagers and help them obtain the benefits of the central government’s schemes.
The home minister directed senior officers to visit the families of personnel killed in the line of duty. He talked about the Narendra Modi government’s Make in India programme and asked the force to use khadi and indigenous products, said the CRPF.