Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'Maoists extorting from low-rung officials in Jharkhand'

Updated on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 19:26

Ranchi: The Jharkhand Government Tuesday confirmed Maoists extorting money from low rung officials in rural areas, even as CRPF chief Vijay Kumar suggested speedy development in these places for curbing left wing extremism.

"Some Naxalites have been collecting levy from development programmes. They take it from contractors. We also got information from some areas that they (even) demand levy from officials at various level," Jharkhand chief secretary A K Singh told reporters here today.

The CRPF Director-General today met Home Secretary, the state DGP, besides him to discuss about extremism, he said.

"CRPF DGP also spoke to Superintendents of Police of Naxal-hit districts and reviewed his forces deployed in the state. He is of the view that development has a big role in combating extremism and benefits should reach to common man," Singh said.

Kumar was told that development works were being done expeditiously, the chief secretary added.

He, however, said that major success cannot be achieved unless block development officers, circle officers and doctors stay at their places of posting, Asked whether BDOs and COs were still flouting even after government's recent directive, Singh said the officers have started to stay.

"Now they have started to stay after clear instructions have been given," Singh said.

Stating that the Centre had been giving huge funds, much of which remain "unspent", he said the government was determined to utilise the funds.

The presence of BDOs and COs was necessary, he added.

Refuting reports that the state's surrender policy did not evoke much response from Maoists, Singh said several Naxalites had recently joined the democratic fold and changes would be made in the policy if it was necessary.

About frequent Maoist killings in Khunti district, he said securitymen were also achieving success, but it was a long-drawn battle against the left wing extremism.

"Yesterday, security forces arrested Maoists and police weapons were recovered at Ghatsila in East Singhbhum."

18 of the 24 districts in Jharkhand have been officially announced as Maoist-hit areas.


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