Maoist activity will be put down with an iron hand: Ashok

The Border Security Force (BSF) may train the Karnataka police in combating Maoists who have started gaining ground in the Western Ghats.

Speaking at a function to launch ‘Technology-driven traffic management and enforcement’ programme in Belgaum, Bellary and Gulbarga districts here on Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, who holds the Home portfolio, said the BSF had offered to train the State police, and discussions were on.

Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the programme, Mr. Ashok said the State police were being trained at the Commando Training Centre, near Bangalore, to fight Maoists in the dense jungles of the Western Ghats. The training by the BSF would further energise them to act swiftly in case of attacks, he said.

To a question on the increase in Maoist activities, he said the government had contained them through pro-people efforts and eliminating their leaders.

However, Maoist operations had gained momentum in recent weeks owing to the infiltration of leaders from neighbouring States. Mr. Ashok said that under no circumstances would the government allow the Maoist movement to grow in the State.To a question on whether the eviction of tribal people from the Kudremukh National Park area was the reason for the growing Maoist menace, Mr. Ashok said the Centre was taking certain steps to protect virgin forests and wildlife, and it was the responsibility of the State government to respond to that.

Earlier, launching the programme, Mr. Ashok said that technology-driven management had helped police personnel to a great extent. Technology had helped in checking the crime rate , he said.

The government, which was spending huge sums on making the police technologically advanced, was seeking funds from the Centre for the purpose.

Surveillance cameras

Launching the installation of surveillance cameras in Gulbarga, Bellary and Belgaum districts, Mr. Ashok announced that the facility would be extended to Tumkur, Mandya, Chitradurga, Udupi, Bijapur and Hassan districts at the earliest.

Director-General and Inspector-General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau was present.