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Special force to tackle Naxal menace

George Iype in Kochi | November 17, 2003 15:01 IST
Last Updated: November 17, 2003 16:09 IST

The series of claymore mine blasts triggered by the outlawed People's War that nearly killed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in October has provoked the central government to set up a special security unit to check the Naxalites.

Also read: Andhra CM hurt in Tirumala blasts

The decision followed a Union home ministry report that said Left-wing extremist groups are responsible for the second largest number of violent incidents and killings in India.

Terrorism in Kashmir takes the top slot.

A senior government official told rediff.com that the special security unit will be raised out of the Central Reserve Police Force. "We will give special training to these units and deploy them in the nine states that are badly hit by Naxal extremism," the official said.

According to the home ministry report, nine Indian states are affected by the menace: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are the worst affected while Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are 'partially affected.'

Also Read: Who are the Naxalites?

Ministry records say extremist groups like the Communist Party-Marxist Leninist, People's War and Maoist Communist Centre kill some 600 people every year.

'The Left-wing extremist groups have been making concerted efforts to militarise their cadres through formation of special guerrilla squads,' the report said.

Last year, the terror unleashed by the Communist Party-Marxist Leninist, People's War and Maoist Communist Centre led the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to set up a coordination committee headed by the Union home secretary to coordinate with various state governments to check Naxal activities. Director generals of police and chief secretaries of the affected states are members of this committee.

The decision to set up the special security force is based on the coordination committee's recommendations.
The committee said Left extremist groups are restructuring their organisational framework to establish their domination in areas like the north coastal, south coastal and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh and southern parts of Orissa, Jharkhand, north Bihar and coastal areas of West Bengal and Orissa.

It said the Communist Party-Marxist Leninist, People's War and Maoist Communist Centre have established close links with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency.

Maoist insurgents in Nepal are entangled in deadly terrorism against government troops.

Officials said Indian districts on the Indo-Nepal border have become vulnerable because of the continuing violence in Nepal.

Reports indicate that the Communist Party-Marxist Leninist, People's War and Maoist Communist Centre have aligned with Nepali Maoists to carve out what they call a Compact Revolutionary Zone spreading from Nepal to Bihar.

Over the years, the central government has provided financial and logistical support to the affected states to combat Naxalite terrorism but these were uncoordinated efforts.

What is being planned in the wake of the Naidu attack will be the first sustained battle against Naxalism since Maoist violence appeared in India in the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967.


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