Friday, November 24, 2006

`No report on naxal bid to make bombs in Karnataka'

# 4,300 constables to be recruited soon
# 2,200 of them to be deployed in Bangalore

BANGALORE: Home Minister M.P. Prakash on Thursday said the State Government did not have any information about naxalites trying to manufacture bombs in the Malnad region though it was aware of efforts by naxalites to procure coins to extract nickel to make bombs.

Mr. Prakash was speaking here at a function organised by the newly formed Bangalore District Working Journalists Association. The Minister said there were reports that naxalites were procuring one-rupee coins for its nickel content by paying Rs. 1.40.

On security issues, he said the Police Department was being strengthened by recruiting 4,300 constables of whom 2,200 would be deployed in Bangalore. In order to prevent terrorist attacks on vital installations, 330 policemen would be deployed around the Vidhana Soudha, the Vikasa Soudha, the Karnataka High Court and other buildings, he said.

Allaying fears expressed by the Congress leadership over lack of faith on the state police, Mr. Prakash said that such fears of Congress emerged due to their fear of electoral loss. Stating that they had not asked for central forces to provide security during the by-polls to Chamundeshwari, he said that there are sufficient personnel with integrity who can provide security about during elections. "One officer cannot change the destiny of elections," he added.

The Minister expressed fears over the entry of foreign-owned media into the country and said it could influence the country's cultural lifestyle.

The influence of U.S. neo-capitalism in the era of globalisation was being felt in many countries, he said.

Besides, the arrival of big papers with multiple editions had affected a large number of small newspapers in terms of financial viability.

The survival of small newspapers was also important to counter the threat from foreign media.

Stating that the report submitted by the Ramiah Committee was yet to be implemented fully, he said a scientific study of small newspapers was also needed at this juncture.

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