C'garh drives the naxal national average: Patil

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New Delhi, Mar 14: The increased incidence of ultra activities in Chhattisgarh has shot up the ''naxal national average'', spreading a scare across the country, Home Minister Shivraj Patil told Rajya Sabha today.

Answering the question of Mr Vijay J Darda (Congress), Mr Patil said during the question hour that there was a 47 per cent increase in naxal activities and 56 per cent rise in killings in the state.

The sprawling shrub forests and hilly terrains provided an ideal locale for ''growth of naxal activities.'' ''It is not for us to blame the state governments for this rise as they may have their own difficulties and reasons, but this growth does add up to the statistics, giving a wrong impression about spread of terror and spreading scare in the minds of people who go through these figures,'' the Minister said.

There were protests from the Opposition benches when Mr Patil attempted to shrug off a question from Rajya Sabha Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat regarding the statistics in the official records.

Ms Sushma Swaraj(BJP) alleged that Mr Patil was insinuating that the Chair had not gone through the figures properly. However, Mr Shekhawat said the chair was capable of defending itself.

Mr Patil clarified that it was the states which were dealing with naxalism and Centre was providing as many as 33 battalions of police force to fight terror. The states should use the manpower and the helicopter and other equipments provided to them to tackle the menace. ''It is the states who are tackling these events and not Delhi Police,'' he said. The Centre was not just providing monetary support to contain these activities but also giving modern scientific equipments and arms and ammunitions to check the meance, he added.


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