It was not a war cry against naxals: George

It was not a war cry against naxals: George

Home Minister K J George said on Saturday that “there is no question of the State government waging a war against naxals.”

In an interaction with mediapersons here, he sought to clarify that he had never said that the State would wage a war against naxals.

“There is no question of waging war against naxals. We want them to respect the spirit of democracy and work within its framework,” he said.

He said that the government wanted them to come to back to the mainstream and that it was ready to hold a dialogue with them.

“We will hold talks with naxals’ representatives, if they come forward to find solutions to issues like atrocities, exploitation and devotement of tribes and backward regions,” he said.

Replying to a specific question, he justified the government’s stand on modifying the Police Act, 1964.

George said, “The Supreme Court has clearly stated that it is a State issue. Moreover, the BJP government had made some modifications to the Act and had taken the Cabinet approval.”

He said that the previous government had kept the Bill ready, but failed to introduce it on the floor of the House.

“We did not make modifications to the Act, but introduced the same Bill and sent it to the governor for approval,” he said.

George claimed that the modifications would never encourage intervention of people’s representatives in police transfers.

“There will be only two representatives on the board – the chief minister and the home minister - as they are essential parts of the police system. Give us some time and then comment, based on our functioning style. We will never intervene in the issue of transfers,” George said.

Noting that the percentage of women staff in the police department was just six, he said there was a proposal to increase it to 10 per cent, but the government wanted to make it 20 per cent.

“We are planning to make it 20 per cent. We will attract women to the police service and ensure 20 per cent representation for them during recruitments,” he said.

He said that the government was committed to the welfare of the police personnel and that it would build 4,000 houses for policemen across the State using foreign technology.
“We will start schools for the children of police personnel. The police department can’t manage such schools. We will hand over the responsibility of running such schools to private managements, if they come forward,” he said.

The government, he added, would help the personnel construct their own houses under self-finance schemes.

Referring to Mangalore South legislator J R Lobo’s demand for re-investigation of cases pertaining to attacks on churches in the coastal belt, George said he would visit Mangalore on June 18 and Udupi on June 19 and take up the matter with Lobo.

Media, police meet

Regarding the strained relations between the media, police and advocates, George said he would soon a convene a meeting between media representatives, advocates and police to ensure confidence-building measures. He said there was no question of withdrawing cases registered against a few persons belonging to all the three agencies, after the violent incidents of March 2, 2012.

Policy on live bands, game parlours

In an effort to curb “illegal” activities, the government plans to bring in a policy to regulate live bands, dance bars, video game parlours and other skill-games centres, shortly.

According to Home Minister K J George, a meeting to discuss various intricacies pertaining to such issues will be held on June 21. “The meeting will be attended by the Director General & Inspector General of police, the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, the Home Secretary, retired judge and representatives of various sections of society,” George told reporters here.

Admitting that there were a lot issues to be looked into before taking a final decision on gambling and other activities, he said: “There is a court order permitting bar owners to employ waitresses and a section of people, while claiming they run their joints within the legal framework, has objected to raids and searches conducted by the police department.”

 It was important to have a meeting with all stakeholders and put in place a policy that will, once passed, be used to regulate such activities, he observed.

The input generated at the meeting will be taken into account before finalising the policy, while the stakeholders will also be heard, he added.

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