Sunday, May 21, 2006 (New Delhi) :
A Parliamentary Committee has voiced serious concern over "growing influence" of Naxalism across the country.
"It is no more a law and order problem but poses a threat to internal security as is evident from their declaration of Compact Revolutionary Zone or red corridor from Nepal to Tamil Nadu," said the Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its report tabled in Parliament.
The 30-member Committee of MPs from both Houses including BJP leader L K Advani, is headed by Sushma Swaraj.
It quoted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s observation at a meeting of Chief Ministers of Naxal-affected states last month that "It would not be an exaggeration to say that the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country."
"There is, therefore, an urgent need to curb the Naxal activities with an iron hand and simultaneously address the associated economic problem," said the report.
The Committee said on Friday that there is need for more seriousness in implementing the programmes for developing the infrastructure in the affected districts.
It is also crucial to improve the economic conditions of the people and winning back the confidence of those who are alienated from the mainstream of the society and are aligning with the Naxalites.
The present strength of armed Naxalite cadres is around 7,200 and Naxal violence was reported from 509 police stations last year as against 517 in 2004 and 518 in 2003, according to information furnished to it by the Union Home Ministry.