Friday, September 08, 2006

Anti-Terror Cell in State

Anti-Terror Cell in State
Wednesday September 6 2006 18:03 IST

NEW DELHI: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said an Anti-Terrorist Cell has been set up, which acts as the nodal coordinating agency.

Kumaraswamy said the State formulated an action plan, in line with the guidelines decided upon by the coordination centre. Listing several measures to tackle the danger posed by the Maoists, he said an Anti-Naxal Force with a strength of 543 personnel was set up, with headquarters at Udupi in Malnad area.

Fully trained, this force has launched combing operations in Malnad region and Pavagada taluk to flush out armed Maoists. SPs of the affected districts have been made responsible for the Anti-Naxal Force operations, he said.

Participating in the Chief Ministers Conference on Internal Security here, Kumaraswamy said, “To tackle problems of terrorism, Naxalism and communal disturbances, it is necessary to establish two Rapid Action Force Battalions, one in North Karnataka and the other in Coastal Karnataka, so that, in times of need, they can be used by the State. For policing the Railways, a proposal has been made to increase the strength of the Government Railway Police.”

Kumaraswamy said that while the State was willing to bear 50 per cent of the cost, the Railways have not given consent.

He sought the intervention of Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil in the regard.

Kumaraswamy said a proposal for raising a commando force on lines of Greyhounds/NSG was being finalised. Recognising the targeting of the jails and armouries by the Maoists, security has been strengthened in the prisons, particularly where Maoist cadres are lodged and the escort staff for these activists suitably sensitised. Three mine-proof vehicles have already been deployed in the Malnad area and in Pavagada taluk, he said.

Kumaraswamy said, “We cannot, however, stop with action only on the security front, without going into the root cause of such unrest, which is the socio-economic backwardness of this regions.”

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