Thursday, August 02, 2007

High-level meet to review fast spreading revolutionary movement

I wonder if you get to eat free Samosas at these meets ?

High-level meet to review Naxal menace

New Delhi, Aug 2 : Amid raising concern that the Naxalites are penetrating into new states like Delhi and Punjab, a high-level meeting is being held here today to review the Naxal menace in different parts of the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who once described Naxalism as the single-biggest security threat to the country, is likely to chair the meeting.

Senior officials from the Union Home Ministry and intelligence agencies, and the National Security Council will attend the meeting.

In the last meeting, the Centre had sensitised the new states, including Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, about the existence of Naxalites in their areas.

The Centre developed a five-tier structure to deal with the problem. These include an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil; a standing committee of chief ministers of Naxal-affected states; a Coordination Centre headed by the Union Home Secretary (chief secretaries and DGPs of 13 affected states); a Task Force headed by the Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Union Home Ministry and an Inter-ministerial group headed by Additional Secretary (naxal management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil recently said that force alone cannot be a solution to end Naxalism, which has affected around 13 states. He stressed on the need for a 'holistic approach' to solve the menace.

Maoists are said to be operating in 13 of 29 States along the 'red corridor', referring to a stretch from the Indo-Nepal border to Andhra Pradesh.

According to a Home Ministry report, 76 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are 'badly affected by Maoist violence'.

According to a report released by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) early this year, 749 people were killed in the Naxalite conflict in 2006. These include 285 civilians, 135 security personnel and 329 alleged Naxalites.

The highest number of killings was reported from Chhattisgarh (363), followed by Andhra Pradesh (135), Jharkhand (95), Maharashtra (60), Bihar (45), Orissa (25), West Bengal (22), Uttar Pradesh (2), Karnataka (1) and Madhya Pradesh (1).

However, the number of killings in 2006 declined as compared to 2005 during which 892 people were killed, the report said.


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