Monday, October 08, 2007

Naxal menace: 550 cr plan for development

Monday October 8 2007 11:54 IST
Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Worried over spurt in Naxalite activities in the State, the State Government has submitted a proposal of Rs 550 crore to the Centre for overall development of districts affected by it.

Official sources said a detailed report on the ways to handle the Naxalite problem by undertaking developmental activities was submitted by Principal Secretary in the Home Secretary T K Mishra in New Delhi on Saturday, where he attended a meeting on Naxalite activities.

The State Government has taken suggestions from all the collectors and police superintendents of Naxalite-dominated districts before preparing the strategy to tackle the Maoists. According to a report prepared by the Centre, there has been a rise in Naxalite activities in the State.

Though Orissa police claim to have upgraded its skills in tackling Naxalite problem, a report released by the Naxal Management Division (NMD) pointed out that there had been nearly 15 per cent rise in Naxalite activities in Orissa.

“There has been rise in Naxalite activities by 25 per cent in Malkangiri district of Orissa,” the report said adding that ratio of the increase in neighbouring Jharkhand is 24 per cent.

The report published by NMD also suggested that only efficient police officers be posted in Naxalite-infested districts and they should not be transferred before a stipulated period.

It, however, maintained that there is no meaning in initiating talks with any Maoist group unless they lay down arms immediately. Official sources indicated that Orissa will prefer to maintain its old strategy of giving priority to developmental activities than suppress Naxalite movements by force.

“We plan to ensure rural connectivity, health facilities and employment in tribal-dominated districts where Maoists lure people to their groups,” sources said, adding that the State Government had been doing its best to tackle the problem

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