Maoist activity spreads to more Bengal districts: Governor
Maoist activity in the western part of West Bengal has been checked to a some extent but it has spread to several other districts, governor M K Narayanan on Thursday said.
Attributing the relative decline in maoist activity in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts to sustained operation by the joint security forces, he said Naxal presence had expanded in districts like Birbhum, Murshidabad and Nadia.
Several incidents of maoist violence have occurred resulting in the deaths of both security personnel and civilians, Narayanan noted while while addressing the Budget session of the state Assembly on the opening day.
He said that some development initiatives had been taken by the state government while programmes were organised by the joint forces to get local people's support and confidence in the maoist-hit areas.
The state government, he said, announced surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for Maoists on the line of the model schemes forwarded by the central government.
The governor's address was intermittently disrupted by opposition Trinamool Congress members who demanded that the killings in Netai village should have a mention in his address.
Trinammol members entered the House carrying placards against the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government and slogans were raised khuni Buddha sarkar, ar nei darkar (there is no need for the killer Buddhadeb government to continue).
This is the last session before the coming Assembly election in the state scheduled to begin on April 18.
Turning to the situation in Darjeeling hills, Narayanan regretted it had remained unsettled in spite of a series of tripartite talks between the Centre, state government and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha both at official and political levels.
The GJM was continuing with its agitation disturbing public order not only in the hills, but also in the plains stretching into Jalpaiguri district, he noted.
The state government, he said, wanted the Morcha leadership to find a solution through discussions.
Giving details of anti-terrorism measures, he said that to counter possible terrorist attacks, alerts of which had been received of late, measures like anti-sabotage checks and installation of CCTV in sensitive places had been taken.
A special task force has also been created and an elite section of the force was given commando training.
Six coastal police stations were operationalised and eight more were in the process of being set up to secure the safety of about 260 km of the coastline of the state, he said.
Narayanan said that industrialisation in the state remained a major objective of the state government and added the state government's proposal for building a petroleum, chemicals and petrochemical investment region at Haldia covering an area of 250 sq km has been approved by the Centre.