BANGALORE, June 15;Irked by reports in a section of the media, Home Minister K.J. George has said, “We have not declared a war against Naxals…who said so?” Speaking at a special interaction with reporters at the Police Commissioner’s office in Bangalore on Saturday, Mr. George said that he was unhappy with reports in a section of the media that the State government has declared a war against left wing extremism.
“They [Naxals] are also our people. We will deal with them within the democratic framework. I once again welcome them to come forward for talks. The government is more than willing to discuss issues of development and atrocities against tribal people,” he said.
Speaking of the State’s plans to wean young and impressionable youth away from Maoist ideologues, Mr. George said that the government wants to recruit young tribal boys and girls for the police force. “They are physically very strong and would make excellent policemen and women,” he said adding that 8,000 new recruitments will be made soon.
He also expressed displeasure over the reports in media that criticised the government for appointing senior IPS officer Seemanth Kumar Singh as the head of the State’s Anti-Naxal Force as there is an ongoing CBI investigation against him in the illegal mining case. It is the CBI’s case that Mr. Singh was on the payroll of illicit ore transporters Kharapudi Mahesh and Swastik Nagaraj when he was the Superintendent of Police in Bellary. The CBI seized a diary, which has entries showing that he was paid a fixed monthly sum by the iron ore mafia.
“The CBI is a central government agency. The State government has not yet been apprised about the status of the case against him [Singh]. As per our information there is no adverse remark or allegations against him,” Mr. George said.
Re-investigation of church attacks
Responding to a statement issued by Mangalore South Congress MLA J.R. Lobo that the September 2008 church attack cases should be investigated afresh, he said that he is travelling to Mangalore and Udupi on June 18 and 19 to discuss the issue with local leaders.