//'Reforms must in Naxal-hit areas'

'Reforms must in Naxal-hit areas'

NEW DELHI: The dichotomy between tough police action and development in states where naxalism is rampant and spreading came to the fore yet again on Wednesday when the government told MPs demanding better policing that land reforms and uplift of tribals and the poor too were essential. A spate of naxal-inflicted violence in recent weeks prompted the MPs from the states concerned to knock at the doors of the home ministry. They wanted more funds for policing and better intelligence gathering and sharing.

While accepting this, home minister Shivraj Patil pointed out that some states had been slow in utilising funds allotted for police modernisation and police and para-military forces allocated to them. As for land reforms and tribal welfare, the MPs were told that some of the states had not picked up even a single penny meant for development of tribal areas. There was no shortage of funds and the Centre, on its part, had already roped in rural development, panchayati raj and tribal affairs ministries. The need was for implementing various schemes.After the two-hour meeting with 11 Rajya Sabha members seven from Bihar and one each from Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand home secretary V K Duggal said: "We have asked for more work in the direction of land reforms." He said: "We have asked for creation of a special Bench of the Patna HC to dispose of cases pertaining to transfer of land to weaker sections."