Today's Paper

Karnataka to ban naxalite, Maoist groups

Decision soon; government wants to allay people's apprehensions

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Government will ban naxalite and Maoist groups, Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh said on Friday.

A decision would be taken soon, he told presspersons after inaugurating a photo exhibition on the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, here.

Mr. Singh said there would be a total ban on naxalites, just as Andhra Pradesh had taken action.

A few Maoist groups and other groups were already banned in the State.

The Government wanted to allay people's apprehensions over the activities of naxalites.

The killing of a Maoist party general secretary Saketh Rajan in a police encounter at Menasinahadya in February this year and a retaliatory attack at Venkatammanahalli in Pavagada taluk of Tumkur district, resulting in the death of six policemen, highlighted the seriousness of the naxal menace.

Increasing strength

The number of Maoists and naxalites in the State, especially in districts bordering Andhra Pradesh, rose from 25 to 80 in a few months.

The fact that the naxalites have sophisticated arms in their possession proved that naxalism in the State was not in the nascent stage.

Patil announces plans

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited the State to assess the situation and announced plans to counter the naxal menace.

Development package

The State Government announced a special development package for the area around the Kudremukh National Park and Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga districts, where the people were "vulnerable" to the naxal and Maoist philosophy.

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