ANDHRA PRADESH

We are keeping an eye on naxals: DGP

VIJAYAWADA, JULY 24. Amidst continuing apprehensions over the People's War utilising the peaceful situation for strengthening its base, the State police administration is keeping a constant watch on the movement of the naxalites, particularly in the areas affected by them.

"There have been no incidents of violence nor were there any attacks on the policemen by naxalites since the last couple of months. Though there are some incidents of violence, they are not of a major magnitude. The police is also maintaining restraint to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for the talks process to continue," the Director-General of Police, S.R. Sukumara, has said.

Naxals' gesture hailed

In a brief chat with reporters, Mr. Sukumara who was here on Saturday in connection with the general body meeting of the Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association, welcomed the positive gesture from naxalites in not resorting to violence in the light of the peace initiatives launched by the Government.

"This is naturally a good step to pave way for talks and minor issues which arise from time to time can be sorted out amicably," he said.

Service in villages

Taking the breather of time available as an advantage to endear themselves to people, the police have decided to utilise the peaceful atmosphere for taking up service activities in the rural areas, the naxal-affected areas in particular, and instructions to this effect had already been issued to officers at different levels.

"Superintendents of Police of some districts already took the initiative by taking up developmental programmes in association with the Government officials in villages while others have been asked follow suit," he said.

Responding to a question, Mr. Sukumara said that the police was aware of the fact that naxalites were continuing to carry weapons with them during their visits to villages. "We are constantly monitoring the situation," was his guarded reply.

Reforms

Admitting that the pace of reforms initiated in the Police Department had slowed down in the past few years, he asserted that steps would be taken to expedite the reform process in the interests of the people.

Earlier, the DGP inspected the bathing ghats in the city and reviewed the proposed security and traffic arrangements for Krishna pushkarams, commencing in the last week of August.

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