Thursday, September 01, 2005

Security beef-up for Maoist rally

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, Aug. 31. — The state capital has been fortified with heavy police deployment, barricades and surveillance at all entry points in view of tomorrows proposed rally by the pro-Naxalite organisation “Daman Pratirodh Manch”. The rally and meeting will be video graphed in full by intelligence wing sleuths.
Persons with warrants or cases pending against them were being detained and those traveling to attend the rally with traditional weapons disarmed. Meanwhile the Daman Pratirodh Manch convenor Dandapani Mohanty alleged that police was unnecessarily provoking tribals and indulging in indiscriminate arrests. Hundreds of tribals who were coming to the rally from Malkangiri, Muniguda etc had been detained, he charged.
The second ever pro-Naxalite demonstration at Bhubaneswar has assumed importance following re-imposition of ban on Maoists by neighbouring Andhra Pradesh government. It may be noted that at the first such show of strength held here few months ago top leaders from across the border including Ververa Rao, ( recently arrested in Hyderabad after imposition of ban), had addressed that gathering.
Sandbags and tight security with as many as 26 platoon of police has been pressed into service here. Policemen in plainclothes will keep watch on all entry points particularly at bus stops and railway stations. Naxalite sympathisers with pending cases or warrants have been intercepted at different points in southern Orissa districts today.
Talking to reporters, home secretary Mr Santosh Kumar said, “every body had a democratic right to hold rallies and public meetings but the government will maintain law and order. Naxalite sympathisers will not be allowed to carry traditional weapons to the rally as a measure of abundant precaution,” he added.
Mr Kumar said all railway stations and bus stops are being watched and tribals coming to attend the rally are being disarmed. Only those who have NBWs pending against them are being arrested, he added.
He claimed that the Orissa governments’ stand on the Naxalite issue remains unchanged as it was always open for unconditional talks. “It seems the Naxalites are not keen to enter into any dialogue,” he observed.
The home secretary iterated that the government continues with its two fold strategy — police action and development of backward areas as far as the Naxalite issue is concerned.
Significantly, Mr Kumar stated that the Orissa government was not thinking in terms of imposing a ban on Naxalite groups. He claimed that the ban on Maoists by Andhra Pradesh government did not have any adverse impact in Orissa.

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