36 Naxalites were gunned down ever since formation of new govt

Raipur, Jul 15: As many as 36 Naxalites were killed so far in encounters that broke out during anti- Naxal operation carried out by the security forces ever since formation of new government in Chhattisgarh, said Chhattisgarh Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu in Vidhan Sabha today.

Many Naxalites carrying rewards on their heads were among those gunned down by the security forces in encounters, he said, dismissing opposition charges of lack of clarity in state government’s policy on Naxalism. He was replying to allegations levelled by Brijmohan Agrawal and several other BJP MLAs in adjournment notice over killing of Dantewada MLA Bhima Mandavi by Naxalites during Lok Sabha elections and rise in incidents of Naxal violence after formation of new government in the state.

State government’s policy and intent on Naxalism are clear, he said, adding that state government was committed to elimination of Naxalism through mutual coordination and harmony between security forces and job-oriented development works in remote Naxal-infested areas of Chhattisgarh, he said.

Sahu claimed that nine Naxalites carrying reward of Rs 8 lakh each, five carrying reward of Rs 5 lakh each, one carrying reward of Rs 2 lakh and one carrying reward of Rs 1 lakh were among those 36 Naxalites gunned down by the security forces in 63 encounters that broke out in anti-Naxal operations after formation of new government. In addition to this, 273 Naxalites were arrested while 174 other Naxalites surrendered, he said.

Describing killing of MLA Bhima Mandavi by Naxalites on April 9 as unfortunate incident Sahu said that Mandavi, who was given Z Plus security cover, had returned additional forces from district police by citing conclusion of election campaign as reason. Accordingly Mandavi chose a route via Shyamgiri to reach Kuankonda as the ROP (road opening party) was not done on this route.

Bacheli SHO had asked the MLA by calling over phone not to go through that route but Mandavi refused to accept the plea by senior police officer and went through that route. Eventually Naxalites laid death trap on that route, he said. Apart from Mandavi, four police personnel including Mandavi’s driver were martyred in Naxal attack. One Naxalite involved in this attach was arrested while five other Naxalites involved in this attack were gunned down by the security forces in separate encounters, Sahu said.

The Home Minister Sahu also said that a probe commission had been set up for judicial probe into the incident. The probe commission will be headed by the retired High Court Judge, he said. He refused to withdraw security cover from family of the departed MLA. Claiming that incidents of Naxal violence in Bastar region decreased comparatively, Sahu said that Naxalites killed 27 villagers in the first six months of this year by calling them as police informers whereas 42 people were killed by Naxalites in previous year.

Naxalites have a policy of obstructing development works in interior parts so that they can maintain their dominance, he said. He said that police officials were instructed to intensify the operation to create atmosphere of security besides extending their cooperation in ongoing development works. Earlier the BJP MLA Brijmohan Agrawal sought to know the steps taken by the state government for security of MLAs and public representatives in Bastar area after this incident.

There has been an unprecedented rise in incidents of Naxal violence after formation of new government in the state, Brijmohan Agrawal said, adding that killing of MLA Bhima Mandavi who was provided Z Plus security and his security personnel in land mine blast triggered by Naxalites bore testimony to it. He alleged that Mandavi’s killing was a part of political killing intended to influence Lok Sabha elections with support of Naxalites.

After this incident security cover of the family of Mandavi was withdrawn, he alleged. How will it do if public representatives are not provided security? he asked. He called for a resolve in the House to make sure that no MLA would be martyred in Naxal attack. According to him Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have successfully contained Naxalism but Chhattisgarh is unable to do so.

He alleged that government had no clear cut policy on Naxalism. What happened in seven months? he asked. Chief Minister and his ministers are calling it as socioeconomic problem and accordingly they are talking of holding talks with Naxalites,Agrawal said. What is the logic behind holding talks with those do not follow constitution? he asked. Describing Naxalites as traitors and anti-nationals he called upon the government to take a resolve to fight against Naxalism. Congress MLA Mohan Markam said that state government was serious on the issue of Naxalism.

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