Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cop interrupted

Cop interrupted

Is Gill being made a scapegoat for policy failure?

Shivam Vij
New Delhi

Shailendra Pandey

Gill had alleged that corruption in the ranks of the state police was
responsible for Naxalism

The Chhattisgarh government is likely to appoint Swarnajit Singh Sen,
former Director General of the Andhra Pradesh Police, as its security advisor in place of KPS Gill. Gill was appointed in April 2006 but his contract has not been renewed this year.

Andhra Pradesh is widely regarded as the state that has best handled Naxalism, and this with Sen at the helm. Sources in the Chhattisgarh government are trying to highlight Sen’s record to buttress their point that appointing Gill was a mistake in the first place. The move, however, is also being seen as part of the Chhattisgarh government’s desperate attempt to find scapegoats after the embarrassing Rani Bodli massacre that killed a group of 65 policemen and tribals recruited as Special Police Officers. Also, of the 749 people killed by Maoists in 2006, 48 percent were in Chhattisgarh alone. Home Minister Shivraj Patil said in Parliament in March this year that while Naxalite violence had declined in all states, it had increased manifold in Chhattisgarh.

Seniors officials in Chhattisgarh have been rattled by Gill’s allegation that corruption in the police force by which constables are able to get themselves transferred out of the Bastar plateau, is responsible for Naxalism. Sources in the Chhattisgarh police told Tehelka that Gill repeatedly requested massive recruitments in the police even as one particular police official was collecting bribes to transfer constables out of Dantewada district. A source in Raipur also said that it was only after the Rani Bodli massacre that the state government acted on Gill’s recommendation to appoint a special dig whose only brief would be to ensure protection of police outposts and Salwa Judum camps.

Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh government has now appointed a three-member committee comprising a retired director general of crpf, Jungle Warfare College incharge Brig. BK Pawar, and Inspector General of Police (Anti-Naxalite Operations) Girdhari Nayak to suggest ways and means to deal with Naxalite violence. The committee is expected to submit its report within a couple of months.

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