'Naxals now hiding in Kodagu, Ch'nagar'

Home Minister K J George on Wednesday informed the Legislative Council that naxals in the state had entered Kodagu and Chamarajanagar districts, following largescale combing operations in the 13 taluks of the Malnad region.

George said the Maoists have gone into hiding in these two districts after they were pushed out by the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) with rigorous combing and sanitisation operations.

Reports suggest that there is an increased movement of naxals in Sringeri in Chikmagalur district, Subramanya in Dakshina Kannada district and Kodagu.

“We will be increasing the combining operations in these places now,” he said.

The minister said the government was looking at a two-pronged strategy to check naxals by addressing the problems of the local people in interiors of Shimoga, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Chikmagalur, and strengthening the ANF.

Jungle warfare training

“The Centre for Counter Terrorism (CCT), Garud, and the Andhra Pradesh commando force, Greyhounds, will be giving our ANF additional training in jungle warfare to tackle the Maoists. We have also allocated Rs 5.3 crore towards the 13 ANF camps which are located across the four most affected districts,” he said.

Replying to a query by Ganesh Karnik (BJP) about the State’s response to naxalism, in the light of the daring Maoist attack on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, George said that the State government was ensuring highest priority to those districts which were affected by the naxal problem. He said the state government, in the light of the Chhattisgarah attacks, will be giving additional security to the VVIPs touring the naxal-affected regions of Karnataka.

“We are also preparing a new package for those naxals who want to surrender by
putting down weapons. To those who persist with armed resistance, the State will ensure that they do not rise again, ” he said.

On the rehabilitation of the people affected by naxal menace, the minister said that under the new forest policy, those residing in the forest region will be given special packages for make a better living.

“The project is already in implementation stage with Hunsur seeing some progress.” Already a package of Rs five crore has been approved for the rehabilitation of people in eight blocks of the four affected districts.

George said that he would hold meetings with officials on June 18 and 19 in Udupi and Mangalore to discuss the naxal issue.

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