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Oppn to grill Centre on 'confused' anti-Maoist plans

November 18, 2009 10:45 IST
The Opposition will be nailing down the government in the winter session of the Parliament starting Thursday for a 'confused' policy on tackling the Maoists -- ruling the roost in 223 districts in 13 states, despite killing of over 2600 people by them in the last three years.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has been talking for long to mount a full-fledged anti-Maoist operation at the tri-junctions -- the areas located between the states that are affected by the left-wing extremism -- but no action is yet seen on the ground, while the Maoists continue to jack up violence, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders said.

The tri-junctions identified for the offensive are Andhra Pradesh Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh; Orissa-Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh and West Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa, but the offensive is held up for different reasons like the Andhra Pradesh government still insisting on dialogue, the Navin Patnaik government in Orissa refusing to cooperate and the Jharkhand steering itself out in view of the assembly elections.

While there were 721 killings in 1591 incidents of Maoist violence in 2008, the casualties crossed 580 in the 1405 incidents up till August 27 this year. Those killed in 2009 include 250 security force personnel, 123 of them in 61 landmine attacks, as against 231 killed last year, 80 of them blown up by the landmines planted by the Maoists.

As the home ministry's statistics reveal, the Maoists now have presence in 40 per cent of India's geographical area while their movement is concentrated in some 92,000 sq km area. The highest numbers of incidents of violence were reported in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, where 2212 people lost their lives between January 2006 and August 2009.

40 per cent of the top 50 mineral districts in India are today affected by the Maoist menace, with repeated attacks on any symbol of authority -- public or private. The Maoists are particularly concentrated in the eastern and central states that have large concentration of about 90 million tribals.

The opposition suspects the ruling Congress has no will to take on the Maoists as the government on one hands talks of mounting a major onslaught against them, and on the other hand keeps asking them to accept the government's ceasefire offer. Prominent Maoist leader Kisenji has already rejected Home Minister P Chidambaram's call to abjure violence and take the path of democracy, saying there was no question of giving up the 'armed struggle.'

A Correspondent in New Delhi