Ultras would soon come to the negotiation table: Duggal

Ultras would soon come to the negotiation table: Duggal
Friday December 29 2006 00:00 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Left wing ultras would soon come to the negotiation table. It’s only a matter of time, Secretary in the Union Home Ministry V K Duggal asserted on Thursday.

At the end of the two-day meeting of 22nd Co-ordination Centre on Left Wing Extremism, he said, the last one year has witnessed a drop in Naxal violence. In 2006, there were 1457 incidents as compared to 1608 in 2005. Last year, a whopping 510 police stations were hit by Naxal violence which dropped to 372 this year, he informed.

Assuring support to Naxal-hit states, he said the Centre would chip in with an additional assistance of Rs 100 crore during current fiscal for improved weapons, communication system and de-mining equipment to strengthen anti-Naxal operations.

But the aim is not to neutralise them but bring the ‘misguided youths’ back to mainstream as they are missing out on the growth opportunities, he said, but quickly added that there would be no let up in proactive action against them if they continued to indulge in violence.

Stating that 2006 has been a distinct improvement, Duggal said, inter-state coordination has improved and so has the performance of the joint task force. There were 317 encounters in 2006 as against 295 in the previous year, while as many as 236 naxal elements were neutralised during the current year which is an improvement over 199 in 2005.

In Chhattisgarh alone, one of the most-affected states, 150 encounters were held and 900 cadres surrendered. Similar was AP’s performance. The Union Home Secretary expressed satisfaction saying that recruitment by the Red radicals has shown a significant drop.

Asked if the Left extremists can be labelled terrorists, he said it will be difficult to brand them so.

Duggal, however, made it clear that there is no link between the Maoists of Nepal and those operating in India. “There is no evidence of any logistics or physical support being extended by the former to radicals in India,” the Union Home Secretary said.

However, there has been an infiltration of criminals and infiltrators in the ranks of Left extremist outfits.

Duggal called for further strengthening of the existing training centres in the states. If they need support, Centre is ready to finance, he added. He also said that urbanisation and industrialisation throw up more problems for police while incidents such as Kalinga Nagar becomes exploitable for the radicals. Duggal ruled out human rights violation by cops during anti-Naxal operation.

Informing that border fencing is going on in full swing, he said, the second phase work would be over by March 2007. “Apart from illegal immigrants, the Jehadi elements are taking to sea routes and as a preventive step, 70 police stations are being set up under the Coastal Security Scheme for 7000 km long coastline.

In Orissa, five such police stations will come up and Duggal said, he held talks with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to acquire land for these projects.

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