New Delhi, June 5 : Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy claimed that the Andhra Pradesh has evolved a comprehensive strategy consisting of native solutions to counter the challenges posed due to problem of Left Wing Extremism for more than 40 years. Given the Guerilla Tactics and Revolutionary Nature of the Left Wing Extremism, he said that the native solutions proved practical.
Kiran Kumar Reddy was speaking at the Chief Ministers’ Conference on internal security chaired by the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday. He said the most significant element in AP’s strategy has been to evolve a consensus among all political parties in regard to the strategy to be adopted to tackle Left Wing Extremism irrespective of the political parties in power. This consistent approach adopted by all Governments over a period of time has yielded good results in our fight against Left Wing Extremism.
The Chief Minister said the State adopted a multi-pronged strategy including firm police action against armed underground naxals through intelligence-based operations while adopting a humane approach towards the community caught between the naxals and the police. The inclusive development of the naxal-affected areas are supported by a series of welfare and employment guarantee programmes for the poor and downtrodden to keep the community on our side and to wean away the community from the Naxal influence.
Kiran Kumar Reddy said that a sustained effort for Public Perception Management was made through various innovative programmes to counter the onslaught of the consistent propaganda war undertaken by the Left Wing Extremist groups against the State and the Law Enforcement Agencies with a view to prevent the people of impressionable age being drawn into the fold of extremism and to get those out of the naxal movement who have already joined. Window of opportunity to get back into the mainstream of the society for those misguided youth who joined naxals to reduce the numerical strength of the naxals on a sustained basis was made.
The Chief Minsiter said Peace and Public Order is an essential pre-requisite for growth and development of any society. The first and foremost responsibility of the State is to maintain public order and ensure safety and security of its citizens. He said the daylong conference will provide ample opportunity to discuss, deliberate and arrive at strategies to tackle various challenges confronting the internal security of the States and the country at large. He said both Left Wing Extremism and Terrorism today pose a grave threat to the internal security of the States and the Country at large and A.P. is fully geared up to face these twin challenges.
“As a part of the strategy, we created specialized exclusive intelligence wings for collection of intelligence against Naxals at the State level and District level namely Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) and Naxal Information Bureau (NIB) respectively. Similarly, we established highly trained and well equipped Special Forces for countering Guerilla Operations at the State level and District level namely Greyhounds and District guards,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the State Government also created dedicated and well trained VIP Security Wings at the State level and District level for taking care of Security of VIPs and other targeted protectees from the onslaught of naxal attacks.
Kiran Kumar Reddy said the State Government initiated a series of measures to empower Police in terms of physical infrastructure, technology, equipment, mobility, fire arms, training, financial incentives etc. for keeping up their morale and motivation in their long drawn fight against armed naxals risking their lives. The State introduced several confidence building measures for civilians, bureaucracy and political executive by introducing comprehensive relief and rehabilitation measures for all categories of victims of extremist violence so that they can be willing partners in all round development and welfare of the people of naxal affected areas.
The Chief Minister said Andhra Pradesh has undertaken a massive and sustained drive to develop the road and communication infrastructure in interior and affected areas in addition to constructing several Large, Medium and Lift Irrigation Projects for the all round development of rural areas affected with naxal activities. The State Government implemented several employment generation programmes for the rural youth in Naxal affected areas to keep them occupied and refrain them from joining naxal movement. The State implemented a comprehensive rehabilitation programme for surrendered extremist cadre which is regularly monitored at the State level by the Chief Secretary and at the District level by the Collector. He said sustained operations on specific intelligence inputs about CPI Maoist activities were undertaken by deploying specially trained forces while ensuring that there is no collateral damage.
The State Government and its security forces have consciously implemented a policy of winning over the hearts and minds of majority of the public in the naxal affected areas, while isolating the armed underground naxalites and dealing with them sternly. He said the Threat to internal security from LWE has been put under effective check by adopting comprehensive inclusive approach by vigorously implementing various welfare schemes targeting unemployed youth, women and weaker sections. The initiatives undertaken by the State ensured that unemployed youth are engaged in productive works and gullible youth refrained from falling prey to the revolutionary ideology.
Special programmes were taken up for Winning Hearts And Minds (WHAM) of the youth and public have proved every effective in countering extremism. Attracted by the comprehensive surrender and rehabilitation policy of the State, many armed underground cadre gave up extremism and joined main stream.
The Chief Minister said continued intelligence-based operations by the Security Forces yielded good results, not only in our State but also in bordering areas of neighboring States. Inter-State joint operations by AP Police yielded desired results. On account of various proactive measures undertaken by the state, serious efforts by CPI (Maoist) to revive the movement in Andhra Pradesh has proved futile and could not make any headway despite their best efforts.
“We have been sharing intelligence inputs with the Central Agencies and counter parts of the LWE-affected States and have been extending all possible logistic support to them in containing LWE in their States. The LWE violence in the State remained at the lowest ebb in the last 20 years and no major incident of LWE having bearing on Law and Order is reported in the state during the current year,” he said.
Kiran Kumar Reddy said currently, the geographical area under the influence of Left Wing Extremists is confined to the eight districts of Andhra Pradesh bordering with the States of Orissa, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra which are vulnerable for the incursions by the highly active formations operating across the border in Chattisgarh and Orissa. “Though the problem is apparently under control, we are aware that it can stage a comeback in case of any let up in the preparedness of the security forces. The possibility of Armed Action Teams striking at individual targets cannot be ruled out. We are taking appropriate steps to keep up the morale and fighting spirit of the security forces,” he said.
He said to further contain the Left Wing Extremism, we need to develop adequate road infrastructure on the inter-state borders with Chattisgarh and Orissa and continue to deploy all our Security Forces on the Inter State borders as long as the problem remains on the other side of the borders. “Any let up in our guard even for a few days may be taken advantage by large scale armed formations of CPI Maoists situated across the borders to commit sensational offences in the State,” he said. INN