Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil on Tuesday said a special law was needed to tackle the Naxals, especially their "frontal" organizations and urban supporters.

"Police forces in Naxal-affected states have to operate in their own jurisdictions. But Naxals have no jurisdiction. Even though they operate in the forests, they have a large number of sympathizers and frontal organizations in the cities. It is difficult to nail them under provisions of the present laws and hence the sympathizers get off easily," Patil said talking to reporters.
    
Maharashtra had already requested the Centre to enact a special law, he said. "The legislation could be on lines of Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA)," he said, adding that a large chunk of funds for the Naxals comes from mining industry.

"Fortunately for them (the ultras), rich mining takes place in the Naxal belt," he said. Also, there should be a separate authority to expedite development and to handle security issues in Naxal-affected areas, he said.
    
"Naxals are an obstacle to the development. They oppose road, school construction and take away food grains meant for tribals," he said. Patil said that in Maharashtra, more and more tribal youth were joining the police force and Naxals were failing to recruit them. "In the last two years, 2,355 youth have been recruited in the police force from Gadchiroli district (which is affected by Naxal violence)," he said.
    
Since January this year, one policeman died and 15 officials were injured in Naxal attacks in the state, while nine Naxals were arrested, 18 surrendered and 17 were killed, the Home Minister said.

Patil said 52 Maharashtra policemen were killed in 2009 fighting the Naxals, the highest toll in the recent years. Between 2008 and 2012, 16 Naxals and 90 police officials were killed in the state, he said.
    
The Centre had provided adequate funds and manpower to tackle Naxalism, Patil noted. "Chief Secretary (of state) and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) visit Gadchiroli every month to take a stock of the development works and several welfare programmes are being implemented well," he said.

(Agencies)

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