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Naxal allowance to policemen stopped in Chhattisgarh

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New Delhi, June 25: Chhattisgarh is a state that has been very badly hit by Naxal violence since decades. However, the state government has stopped monthly allowance to policemen who are posted in the worst Maoist insurgency-hit Bastar district.

The Congress is ruling the state after coming to power after 15-year-rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

File photo

After assuming power, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had clarified its stance on the problem of Naxalism and stressed on the need of solving the Naxal problem through dialogue.

"This problem cannot be solved with guns. My government will choose the path of development to address this social problem. Former BJP government of the state ignored this problem for political interest, but we will talk to all stakeholders," Baghel had told media at a press conference.

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However, an anti-Naxal expert says the approach of Baghel government on Naxalism is dubious.

What does the government want to achieve by stopping Naxal allowance to policemen, asks the expert.

The Chhattisgarh government has not renewed the orders of former BJP government that allowed the Naxal allowance to policemen posted in Bastar and Rajnandgaon districts.

The order dated October 10, 2015 stated that the government will give 50 per cent, 35 per cent, and 15 per cent of basic salary as Naxal allowance to A, B, and C grade policemen posted in all police stations of Bastar district and nine police stations of Naxal affected Rajnandgaon district from July 1, 2015.

The BJP government also stated that the order will be in force till the financial year 2018-19 and its future will depend on review before March 31, 2019.

Since Bhupesh government didn't renew it, Narayanpur Superintendent of Police wrote a letter on April 18, 2019 to all Station House Officers and Camp In-charges that since no government order has been received till date to continue the allowance therefore it won't be paid with the salary of April, 2019. Till date the status quo is maintained.

The expert alleges that Baghel government has a soft approach towards Maoists.

"Naxalite sympathisers are holding important posts in the Chhattisgarh government and advising Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The Chief Minister is in illusion that soft policy will solve Maoist insurgency problem. In fact, gun is the answer of gun. Look, how Maoists killed a BJP MLA," says the expert.

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On April 9, the Naxals triggered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on a convoy of BJP leaders in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada, which falls in Bastar district.

BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi, three policemen and a driver were killed in the Naxal attack.

Chhattisgarh recorded 249 fatalities, including 60 civilians, 57 Security Force (SF) personnel, and 132 Maoists, in Maoist-related violence in 2018. In 2017, there were a total of 169 fatalities, including 32 civilians, 59 SF personnel, and 78 Maoists. Moreover, Chhattisgarh in 2018 maintained its TOP position in terms of fatalities (249 out of a total of 412 countrywide) recorded in a State during the course of a year, with Maharashtra at a distant second with 58 fatalities. Chhattisgarh has topped the list since 2014.

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