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K P S Gill wants more policemen in Chhattisgarh to fight Naxals

Raipur, Feb 11 (ANI): The man credited with eliminating terrorism from Punjab, KPS Gill, feels that the number of policemen in Chhattisgarh is not adequate enough to crush Naxalism in the State.The former Director General of the Punjab Police, who has now been appointed as the Security Advisor to the Government of Chhattisgarh, has said that the policemen in this Naxal-infested State are facing difficulties in tackling the menace.

"Chhattisgarh was a very under-policed State. Bastar was mainly a forest area and Maoists made it their sanctuary and established bases there. And now, to flush them out of that area is becoming a little difficult", Gill told ANI in an exclusive interview. However, he added that the State Government, with the help of the Centre, is raising new battalions and strengthening the police stations to effectively fight what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had termed as the country's "single biggest internal security challenge".

Pointing out that the situation arising out of spread of Naxalism is different in all 14 affected states, Gill said that Andhra Pradesh seems to be doing very well in dealing with the rebels at the moment, but other states, barring Chhattisgarh, are "still to respond" to Naxalism. He said the killings of common people by Naxalites in 2006 were reportedly highest in Chhattisgarh. People, who felt insecure, responded overwhelmingly to the Salwa Juddum programme, which sought to counter Naxals. "The spread of the Salwa Juddum movement was quick.

Police thought it would not catch up so quickly, but the response was much larger than anticipated. Certain areas were not protected properly. This is why there were more casualties during the initial phase of Salwa Juddum", he said, adding, "I would not continue in the same fashion in the future as more forces were being raised to protect people wherever this movement starts". He said that alienation of tribesmen was not the reason behind rise in Naxalism; rather it was "administrative vacuum", which the insurgents occupied.

"The was no such alienation of tribals. The policy of the government was to leave them alone and let them develop according to their own culture. So, there was an administrative vacuum, which Maoists occupied. They brought in guns and their own philosophy. They forced tribals to join them", he said.

On being asked whether a separate Ministry for the Naxal-affected states was required, as recommended by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), Gill said there was no need for such a Ministry as the menace has different faces in different sates. "Naxals are different in every state. They have different tribal cultures. It's a very disperse crowd. (So) to have a (separate) Ministry to tackle all of them is not a good idea," Gill said. (ANI)


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posted by Resistance 11.2.07,


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