Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Centre to discuss developmental needs of Naxal-affected states

New Delhi, Apr 25: A crucial meeting of the Co-ordination Centre on Naxalism will be held here tomorrow amid the increasing focus of the UPA government on improving the developmental needs of the Naxal-affected areas as an effective step to wean away the youth from falling into the trap of the red ultras.

The meeting, to be chaired by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, will review and coordinate the steps being taken by the 11 Naxal-affected states to effectively combat the menace.

Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police of the affected States and senior officers from the Ministries concerned and Departments of the Central Government will also attend the meeting.

The main focus of discussion at the meeting would be Chhattisgarh, which continues to be the epicenter of naxal violence claiming the highest number of incidents and deaths in 2006 and also in 2007 so far.

Naxal activities in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Maharashtra will also figure prominently.

As many as 304 civilians, 84 security personnel and 74 Maoists were killed in the highest of 705 incidents in Chhattisgarh in 2006.

Though the number of insurgency-related incidents has come down during the first four months of the current year, the situation has not improved on the naxal front.

However, there was a decrease of 6.15 per cent in the overall quantum of naxal violence in terms of incidents during 2006 over 2005.

As many as 584 arms and weapons such as SLRs Sten Guns, .303 rifles, DBBL guns, grenades, landmines and detonators were recovered from the naxal outfits during 2006.

--- UNI

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