Monday, November 16, 2009

Naxals are controlling 40,000 sq km in India:

NEW DELHI, Nov. 15 (APP) Naxals are controlling almost 40,000 sq km areas in North Eastern states of India and the Cabinet Committee on Security has given approval to launch operation against them.Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet members had already described Naxalism as the “biggest threat” to security of India.During the recent briefing in the standing committee on Home affairs, it was disclosed that Naxals are controlling almost 40,000 sq km area in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra, Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur.

Naxals have free hand there and they are collecting taxes from the people. Reports also indicated they also enjoyed support from the deprived people in those areas.

Media reports quoting intelligence reports said the Naxals have also penetrated in big cities of India and they are successful in influencing young men with their campaign against injustices and deprivation.

The Standing Committee was also informed by the Home Ministry officials that 5,800 incidents of violence had been reported in these states during the last three years. The highest number of such incidents has taken place in four worst-affected states—Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa—where 2,212 people including security forces lost their lives from January 2006 to August this year.

An operation in Lalgarh area in West Bengal has failed this year while incidents of violence have increased in Orissa, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal in recent days.

The Indian government has planned to launch operation against them with 40,000 paramilitary personnel who will be assisted by the respective state police forces. Almost 7,000 troops specially trained in jungle warfare will also participate in the operation.

For the first time, the security forces will use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to against Naxals hiding in dense jungles and hilly terrains.

The UAVs, with in-built camera, well-equipped data link and video link will be used to detect naxal hideouts in dense forests and difficult terrains, especially in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra and West Bengal to carry out precision attacks against them.

The UAV will cost a minimum Rs. 18 lakh and the Indian Home Ministry has already earmarked a substantial amount to induct such machines.

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