Friday, June 19, 2009

Police must resolve to win Naxal war: CM

19 Jun 2009, 0153 hrs IST, Yogesh Naik, TNN

MUMBAI: Upset over policemen repeatedly getting killed in encounters in Naxal-hit areas of the state, chief minister Ashok Chavan pulled up police
officers on Thursday.

Shaken by the two big encounters where 31 policemen lost their lives, the state government had called for a meeting of top officials in Mantralaya on Thursday.

He said that the struggle of the police against Naxals should be treated as war and the police must set a definite deadline for the fight. Chavan said that 30-35 policemen have died in the war against Naxals. "I have to keep visiting the place for paying homage. How many days will this go on?,'' he said.

In the meeting, Chavan added that the police must resolve to attain victory. Arms and manpower will be provided by the state government.

The state government has come in for sharp criticism for the two attacks on the police this year. The Sena BJP-led Opposition lambasted the government in the legislature on this issue. The government is devising a package for Naxal-affected districts.

As Gadchiroli is a troubled and backward area, 50% of government posts lie vacant. Not many employees want to serve here and Gadchiroli is considered a punishment posting. The CM said that this was a very serious matter and asked chief secretary Johny Joseph to fill up the posts within a month.

In the meeting, Chavan asked officials to start more rice mills and augment the capacity of the existing rice mills. He said that the rice from Gadchiroli is being sent to the neighbouring Gondia district and this results in a price hike.

Gadchiroli was declared a non-industrial area but officials must relax the policies for new mills, he added.

Chavan also gave the instruction that the district guardian minister of Gadchiroli must visit the area at least once a month.

The government also wants to declare the four tehsils of Pavni, Tumsar, Bhandara and Mohadi in Bhandara district and Mahur in Nanded as Naxal-hit.

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