Friday, July 31, 2009

Jharkhand hub of Maoist attacks

- Union minister informs RS
SUMAN K. SHRIVASTAVA

Ranchi, July 30: Jharkhand alone accounts for over one third of Naxalite violence witnessed by the country in 2009, Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Maken informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday

In a written reply to the Upper House, Maken said that as many as 395 incidents of Maoist attacks were reported from the state till July 23 this year while in 2008, the number was 484.

The country has witnessed a total of 1,217 incidents of Naxalite violence so far this year, claiming 508 lives, including that of 233 security personnel. A total of 107 rebels were killed in the same period.

Maken listed the figures in reply to a question by Independent MP from Jharkhand Parimal Nathwani, who had wanted to know whether the state was planning to initiate dialogue with the Naxalites or whether any healing process had begun.

The MP had also asked whether the government was keen to control extremist violence by generating jobs and providing financial aid for self-employment in Maoist strongholds in Jharkhand.

In his reply, Maken said that the state had, from time to time, appealed to the left wing extremists to abjure violence and hold talks with the administration on any issue that are of concern to them. “However, the Centre does not have any information whether the state is now engaged in any talks with the rebels,” he added.

The Union minister also made it clear that no proposal of holding direct talks with the Maoists is under consideration of the central government.

Asked whether the Centre was keen to take up programmes to control Naxalite violence, Maken said that the state had implemented various schemes to generate employment besides providing assistance through minimum support price for minor forest produce, vocational training and financial assistance in the form of bank loans.

“The central government supplements the efforts and resources of the states through a wide range of ongoing schemes,” he added.

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