The scaremongering by the media continues
Naxals may target important facilities
New Delhi, December 5, 2006
Home Minister Shivraj Patil told Lok Sabha on Tuesday that Naxalites were now planning to target important installations in major cities of India.
Speaking during the question hour, Patil said, the intelligence information has been shared with the states. "Like forests provide safe hideouts to Naxalites in tribal areas, the cities also provide them cover. Taking advantage of this, they plan to target major installations in cities," he said.
The Centre has asked state governments to collect actionable information on the Naxalite movement and work in a coordinated manner with neighbouring states, he said, while assuring all possible help to man the problem.
In a bid to give a human face to the problem, Patil said, 'bullets' are not an answer to the growing problem of Naxalism. "We have to deal with the situation in a humane manner but should not be 'timid' towards Naxalities. We have to earn people's confidence through social sector schemes," he viewed, admitting that the problem was complex.
One area for human touch is allowing Naxalities to surrender. The government has initiated a scheme for allowing Naxalities to surrender and their rehabilitation in some states, he said. Also, the victims of Naxal violence were being compensated with ex-gratia payment between Rs one to three lakh. "In some cases it has been as high as Rs seven lakh," he said.
Patil also said that the government was in constant touch with the states affected by Naxal violence and 37 battalions have been deployed there.
"Whatever more help they require the Centre is willing to provide after accessing the situation," he said. Each state has also appointed a nodal officer for better coordination with other states.