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'States must co-operate to tackle Naxalism'
March 07, 2007 14:33 IST
Facing questions over the security provided to slain Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MP Sunil Kumar Mahato, the government on Wednesday said a strong mechanism to counter the serious Naxal problem has been put in place but sought more concerted efforts between states to effectively contain it.
"The central government has put in place a strong mechanism for monitoring Naxal activities and for evolving strategies to counter and closely address the problem," Home Minister Shivraj Patil said in a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha on the March 4 attack on Mahato.
Patil, however, said, "We certainly need greater concerted and cooperative efforts between the states inter-se as well as between the Centre and the states to achieve more acceptable results."
The JMM MP along with two of his bodyguards and a local party leader were shot dead in East Singhbhum district where they had gone to witness a football match.
"In a planned move, the Naxalites numbering around 40-45 including women members, suddenly overpowered the body guards, snatched their weapons and fired at the MP and his bodyguards.
The Naxals took away four INSAS rifles and ammunition with them," Patil said.
As CPI member Gurudas Dasgupta and some others sought clarifications, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said, "We can have a structured debate (on the issue). Nobody can ignore the seriousness of the matter".
Giving details of the incident, Patil said armed assailants holding small arms and posing as villagers were present among spectators at the football match.
According to initial reports, the assailants raised pro-Naxalite slogans after the killings, Patil said.
Reinforcements from the state headquarters have been sent and top police officials are camping at Jamshedpur to supervise anti-Naxal operations in the area while the state has been put on high alert, he said.
"The Government of India condemns this inhuman and tragic incident," Patil said adding his ministry was maintaining a close watch on the situation.
During the current year, a special grant of Rs 15 crore is being given to the state for purchase of weaponry, telecommunication and d-mining equipment, the minister said.
Jharkhand has been provided Rs 20.92 crore under the Security Related Expenditure till date, he said.