40,000 sq km under Naxal control, govt tells Par panel  

NEW DELHI: Left wing extremists are calling the shots in 40,000 sq kilometre area in Naxal affected states where the government has no control, a Parliamentary panel was informed on Wednesday. 

Home secretary G K Pillai told the first meeting of Parliament's Standing Committee on Home Affairs that the problem of Maoists was growing rapidly and needed urgent action.

At the three-hour meeting the panel, headed by BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, was briefed by the ministry officials about the overall internal security situation with particular focus on the Naxal menace.

Home minister P Chidambaram has said Naxalism has spread to 20 states across the country with over 2,000 police station areas in 223 districts partially or substantially affected.

The meeting of the Parliamentary panel came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Left wing extremism as the gravest internal security threat and called for a nuanced strategy to tackle the problem.

"We have not achieved as much success as we would have liked in containing it. It is a matter of concern that despite our efforts, the level of violence in the affected states continues to rise," he had told a conference here of all state police chiefs.

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