Thursday, July 09, 2009

Maken’s distress report

New Delhi, July 8 (PTI): Altogether 455 people have died in 1,128 incidents of Naxalite violence in 11 of the 13 states affected by the rebel menace in 2009, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Of the deaths reported between January 1 and June 30, 2009, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa accounted for 82.5 per cent of the casualties reported.

Minister of state for home affairs Ajay Maken said in a written reply that the Centre had adopted an integrated approach in dealing with Left-wing extremism, which was a continuous process.

He said the Centre was supplementing the efforts of state governments in several ways including deployment of central paramilitary forces and commando battalions for Resolute Action (COBRA), modernisation of police and up-gradation of intelligence.

Regarding a query on whether talks with Naxalites had been initiated in any state, the minister said the Centre did not have any information regarding this.

So far as the Centre was concerned, Maken said, it would welcome such talks between state governments and Left-wing rebels “provided they abjure violence and give up their so-called armed struggle”. However, there was no proposal from the Centre to hold direct talks with the rebels, he added.

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