Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ban will help state in decimating naxals

By Arun
23 Jun 2009 03:57:00 AM IST

BANGALORE: The Centre’s decision to list Communist Party of India (Maoist) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by declaring it as a terrorist outfit, has strengthened the hands of the Karnataka government. The decision has given the state government more powers to contain the naxal activity which has already been on the wane in the state. The naxal movement will surely become weaker if the state government continues with its present activity and utilise the Centre’s decision to ban the CPI (Maoists) properly. The state government can now take on not only the naxals but also their sympathisers, using the National Security Act and try them under the relevant law.
The BJP, which came to power in Karnataka on its own after the May 2008 elections, has been handling the naxal problem with a multi-dimensional strategy.
The state government has been providing all required facilities to the naxal-infested villages apart from arresting the identified active members of the naxal movement. It has also been creating awareness among the tribal people who were, all these years, considered as the strong supporters of this movement in the Western Ghats region.

In addition, the Pejawar Mutt in Udupi and the Sharada Peeth in Sringeri have been helping the poor families in the infested areas by providing them all necessary facilities including electricity, drinking water and toilets, besides paying the house tax and land revenue of the poor families.

The anti-naxal squad, which was strengthened with young personnel and modern arms and ammunition, besides the assistance of the regular police, has been identifying and isolating the active members of the naxal movement in different areas and arresting them. In the last two months, the police arrested more than 12 people, including a youth who was working for the naxal movement in the guise of a BJP office-bearer.

Non-interference by the state government in the independent handling of the situation in the naxal-infested areas, has helped the police to a great extent.
According to intelligence reports, naxals and their sympathisers have been operating through around 30 organisations in the state.

They used to pose themselves as human rights activists and attempt to earn sympathy for their activities and outfits. Now, the sympathisers will not come in the open to support the naxals.

Naxal movement was started in Karnataka two decades ago, almost at the same time when this movement was started in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. But it could not gain as much strength as in those two states and grow, because the atmosphere here was not as conducive as in those two states.
The movement came into Karnataka from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. Obviously, it spread its activities in the border districts of Raichur, Gulbarga, Bidar, Kolar and Tumkur earlier. But the naxals could not win much support in these areas. They found Kudremukh National Forest in the Western Ghats a fertile ground to grow and concentrated there. That area had also become their base camp for training the members in guerilla warfare.

Till 2002, none noticed that the Western Ghats had become their hideout and a training centre. A bullet injury sustained by a tribal woman Cheeramma in that year exposed the presence of naxals. Since then, 14 people died in encounters including the then Karnataka incharge of the naxals Saketh Rajan and a police staffer, apart from seven personnel of Karnataka State Reserve Police at Venkatammanahalli of Pavagada taluk in Tumkur district.

© Copyright 2008 ExpressBuzz

State hails ban, to unveil package
Tuesday, June 23, 2009


State Home Minister V S Acharya on Monday welcomed the Centre’s decision to ban the CPI (Maoist), declaring ait as a terrorist organisation, reports DHNS from Bangalore.

“We welcome the Centre’s move. It will help the State to book cases against those involved in Naxalism under the Unlawful Activities Act. The Centre should have done it long ago,” he said.

Acharya said the State Government would not only announce a package to rehabilitate surrendered Naxals but also come up with a development blueprint for the Maoist-affected regions of the state.

Acharya told reporters that his government was in the process of finalising details of the package, which would end nearly two-decade-old Naxal menace in the State. He, however, refused to divulge details.

The government wants to bring those involved in Naxal activities in to the mainstream and completely root out the menace from the State. “So far, the results have been very encouraging. Some of them (Naxalites) have already come forward to surrender,” he said.

Asked whether the government would initiate legal proceedings against those who surrender, Acharya said he did not want to reveal any details about the package in the State’s interest. “We are on the verge of ending the Naxal movement and we are confident at this stage that it will be ended,” he added.

Naxalism started in 1992 with the Appiko movement. Many members of the then Karnataka Vimochana Sangha turned into Naxalites. But unlike other Naxal-affected States, the movement did not get the peoples’ support. Karnakata was not in the list of seven Naxal-affected states, he said.

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