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Naxals expand sphere of activity

india Updated: Apr 01, 2007 15:42 IST

Naxalites, who pose the greatest threat to internal security, are trying to increase their influence and activity in some parts of the country where they did not have a strong presence earlier, according to a home ministry report.

The new areas are mostly in parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand, besides some spots in states already stricken by the menace, the report said.

Of the total 12,476 police stations in the country, naxal violence has been reported during 2006 from 395 police stations against 460 police stations during 2005.

The current year saw the biggest-ever naxal attack in worst-hit Chhattisgarh when 55 policemen were killed by CPI (Maoists) when they stormed a police station in Bastar region on March 15.

According to the report, the ultras have also been attempting to intensify their efforts at social mobilisation. The Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), set up in May 2005 for this purpose, has enlarged into the People's Democratic Front of India (PDFI).

Data available with the MHA revealed that a total of 157 police personnel were killed in 2006 in 210 attacks on securitymen and in 335 encounters with police.

This has been mainly due to frequent use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and landmine blasts by naxalites.

The attacks on railway and other properties had been more prominent in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, where the ultras were also targeting mines and mining-related activities.

Holding of 'jan-adalats (kangaroo courts)' are done by the naxalites to dispense crude and instant justice, supplant the State apparatus and assert their hegemony over rural tracts, the report said.

Sources in the MHA said that 584 arms and weapons such as SLRs, Sten Guns, .303 rifles, DBBL guns, grenades, landmindes and detonators were recovered from naxal outfits in 2006.

The Government has also appointed an Empowered Group of Ministers (E-GoM) to closely monitor the naxal situation and evolve strategies to deal with the problem.

The Centre has also deployed 33 battalions of para-military forces on anti-naxalite duty, sanctioned 29 India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) and assisted states in the task of police modernisation in terms of modern weaponry, latest telecommunication equipment.

Besides, Rs 219 crore has been reimbursed so far under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme for naxal-hit areas.