Cabinet Sec visiting Jharkhand tomorrow to discuss naxal violence

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (UNI) In view of rising casualties of security personnel in naxal violence in the country, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar is visiting Jharkhand tomorrow to take stock of the security concerns and developmental activities.

This is perhaps the first time that country's topmost official, accountable directly to the Prime Minister, would visit the Naxal heartland for a two-day visit to do some tough talking with top State Government officials.

Special Secretary Internal Security M Kumawat has already left for Jharkhand today to discuss the various aspects related to naxalism with the state government officials and coordinate the meetings with the Cabinet Secretary.

The Cabinet Secretary would also visit Chhattisgarh which is the epicentre of naxal violence in the country contributing to about half the incidents of naxal violence and and casualties. However, the dates for the Chhattisgarh visit had not yet been finalised.

Before visiting Jharkhand, Mr Chandrasekhar deliberated with the senior officials from the Union Ministries of Home, Tribal Affairs, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Environment and Forest and Planning Commission to assess the situation on the ground.

According to Home Ministry, there has been decline of 6.15 per cent in the naxal violence in 2006 as compared to 2005 the casualties in 2006 increased marginally to 678 from 677 in 2005. The number of naxal violence recorded were 1,509 in 2006 as against 1,608 incidents in 2005. Chhattisgarh alone accounted for 47.38 per cent of the total incidents and 57.22 per cent of the total casualties during 2006.

Until June this year, a total of 249 persons - 69 civilians, 113 security personnel, and 67 alleged Naxalites - have been killed. The highest number of killings were reported from Chhattisgarh (141), followed by Andhra Pradesh (39) and Jharkhand (29). A major concern for the Centre was that over 45 per cent of the casualties in 2007 were of security personnel. The killings of security personnel had increased in Jharkhand and Orissa by 24 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

In view of these, the Prime Minister has directed the cabinet secretary to visit the two states where apart from security concerns he would also discuss issues relating to the development of infrastructure, creation of employment and improvement in the quality of life in the rural areas and tribal belts which had been witnessing violence by Naxalites.

He would review the implementation of schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, PMGSY, NREGS, BRGF and special schemes for tribal communities like the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Regulation of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 so as to ensure their proper monitoring to defeat the Naxal agenda.

UNI

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