Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has indicated that lack of proper coordination between various left wing extremism affected states is the root cause of continued Maoist violence in the region.

Speaking to this newspaper, Chhattisgarh chief minister indicated that the Naxal leadership and weapons were moving between state borders with impunity. “The Maoist leaders operating in our state do not live here and are assisted by the porous borders. We want the central government to address this urgently to resolve the problem,” the chief minister said.

Indicating that the issue was complicated as several state governments were involved, he said, “’Chhattisgarh shares border with Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The movement of naxal leaders and weapons is happening across borders. “

He stated that he had also drawn the Centre’s attention towards development in the field of security and coordination between states during the last meeting of left wing extremism affected stated in the national capital.

To take on the Naxal menace the chief minister also demanded that the Centre should provide 100 per cent funds instead of 60 per cent to Chhattisgarh for construction of roads in the state. “Earlier the amount provided was 100 percent. I would urge the centre to restore it as it would help us ensure better infrastructure in the extremist affected areas,” he added. He said Chhattisgarh is bigger than Kerala in terms of area and being a Naxal-affected state, construction of roads in remote areas is difficult.

On other efforts to normalise situation in the region, the chief minister said the government has distributed forest rights certificates to forest dwellers and re-started schools damaged and demolished by Naxals in Bastar. “The state has witnessed less Naxal incidents this year as compared to last year,” he said. And pointed out that state government has also taken several initiatives for providing more job opportunities to locals.

Over the past several years, Chhattisgarh has been one of the worst Maoist violence affected states in the country. The state has been demanding more funds, security forces and better infrastructure to combat Naxal menace affecting its predominantly tribal regions, Bastar and Sarguja.