Chhattisgarh government hints at dialogue with Naxalites

Newly formed Bhupesh Government in Chhattisgarh which is facing Naxalism for the last several decades, has hinted at beginning talks with Naxalites soon. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has told Chief Secretary Ajay Singh to draft a policy for solution to Naxalism and make serious efforts to begin talks with Naxalites. Holding a meeting of home department officials here on Saturday, Chief Secretary conveyed the intention of Chief Minister and told them to make necessary preparations towards this end.

Meanwhile talking to journalists the Chief Minister said that his government would also begin talks with people who were affected by Naxal violence in the state. For this, villagers, farmers, students and women in affected areas, political workers, journalists and members of voluntary organisations would be invited to put forward their suggestions to solve the issue. Baghel said that solution to Naxalism would be one of his government’s top priorities.

It would be difficult to say anything about the extent of state government’s efforts for talks with Naxalites and seriousness of all stakeholders on the issue. But if happens, Chhattisgarh would be the second state after undivided Andhra Pradesh where initiative would be taken to solve Naxalism through talks.

Chief Minister himself believes that policy of previous government to deal with Naxalism was faulty because several innocent people were arrested and put behind bars without concrete evidence, under the pretext of curbing Naxalism. Even children were not spared in such action, he said.

Referring to Chief Minister’s promise in manifesto for providing Rs 1 crore to Naxal affected Panchayats for community development works the Chief Secretary said that this was intended to bring them to mainstream of society through development. Quoting Chief Minister’s instructions, Ajay Singh stressed the need for taking serious note of incidents of crime against women. A women cell should be set up in every police station for independent inquiry into crime against women, he said and added that public places and means of transportation should be made safe and favourable for the women.

The Chief Secretary also instructed to make provisions for weekly off to police staff under police welfare programme, housing to Class-3 and Class 4 police staff and empowering police welfare fund with regular release of government grants for education of children. He also told to take steps for refund of money to chit-fund investors and action against chit-fund companies who committed fraud.

The Chief Secretary said that Chief Minister expressed wish to enact laws for protection of journalists, doctors and advocates. Home department should prepare a draft after holding discussions with concerned parties, he emphasised.

The Insides Speak.