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Governments not reaching out to people causing spread of Naxalism: Rahul Gandhi

Thiruvananthapuram , Wed, 07 Oct 2009 ANI

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct.7 (ANI): A day after Maoists beheaded and killed a Special Branch police inspector, Francis Eduwar, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi attributed the spread of Naxalism to the "inability" of state governments to reach out to the people.


Addressing a news conference during a day-long visit to the Kerala capital, Gandhi said governments in states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh or Orissa were not effectively reaching out to the people and this was a primary reason for the menace spreading across the eastern and landscape.


"There are experts in the government who know how to combat Naxalism. But my view is that there is a connection between naxalism and local governments' inability to reach out to people and lack of development", Gandhi said.


His remarks came after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said here that the Government would support the family of Jharkhand Special Branch police inspector Francis Enduwar, who was beheaded by the Maoists.


Chidambaram also said that it was the responsibility of the Government to take care of police officers' family.


"The Government will fulfill its duty and pay compensation to Enduwar's family," the Union Home Minister said after addressing a part rally here.


Earlier in the day, Chidambaram denied reports of the Maoists demanding the release of their arrested leaders or of a note being found on Enduwar's body as was earlier reported.


The decapitated body of Enduwar, who was kidnapped on September 30, was found on the Jamshedpur-Ranchi Highway at 9.15 a.m. Tuesday morning. It was then reported that a note had been found that warned the government that they could expect more of the same treatment if their demands were not acceded to.


"I condemn it. It is possible that in a conflict situation, police will arrest a number of people, and it is possible that Naxalites will also be able to capture one or two police officers. However, we don"t kill in cold blood, we produce those who have been arrested in a court of law and we deal with them according to law," Chidamabram said.


"If the Naxalites had any demand, they should have placed their demand, but cold blooded murder is simply not acceptable. I condemn it and I hope human rights groups will also condemn it," he added.


Chidambaram further said the Maoists made no official demand.


"The DGP has told me that there was no demand for a swap of prisoners. Besides, we are governed by the rule of the law. Prisoners are under the custody of the court, we cannot swap prisoners with those who are outside the law, who take the law into their own hands. There is no question of swap of prisoners," Chidamabaram said.


"If there were any other genuine developmental demand, that could have been considered. But, the DGP tells me that no demand was placed upon the government. And all that they found was the mutilated body," he added.


The Maoists are demanding the release of their two leaders Kobad Ghandy and Chatrodhar Mahato, who were arrested by law enforcement authorities in Delhi and West Bengal respectively last month. (ANI)


Chidambaram said that the Government has made it clear that it does not view the confrontation with the Naxalites as a war against the Naxalites.


Delivering the fourth Nani Palkhiwala memorial lecture in Mumbai on Monday, Chidambaram said: "The Naxalite leaders and cadres are Indian citizens. No government of a civilized country will wage war against its own people. What we ask is that the Naxalites should abjure violence."


"If they represent the poor or the tribal people of a State, certainly the Government of that State would be willing to talk to them on their demands and listen to their genuine grievances. I hope that leaders of civil society would prevail upon Naxalites to abjure violence and participate in democracy," he added.


Noting that in the last ten years, the Naxalite movement has grown both in its area of influence and its capacity for violent actions, he said, "It is a sad fact that some sections of civil society continue to romanticise the left wing extremist movement."


In an extraordinarily frank document issued by the politburo of the CPI (Maoist), he said, "They regard elections as a meaningless, irrelevant, pseudo-democratic exercise."


"They have declared that their goal is seizure of political power and establishment of base areas. Their method will be expanding our guerrilla war to new areas on the one hand and intensifying the mass resistance in the existing areas; to intensify the war in the States; and expand the area of struggle," he added.


Speaking on Kobad Ghandy, a member of the politburo, the Minister said: "Ghandy has stated on record that the Naxalites will never participate in the mainstream of politics."


"How can a country that is democratic and republic accept these pronouncements?" he said.


Referring to Maoists in Nepal who participated in Parliamentary elections, he said why Indian Maoists do not follow this example.


"There is no logical answer to this (why Naxals do not take part in democratic elections) from Maoists, from human rights activists who support them, or the left-leaning intellectuals," he added.


Terming Naxalites as "anti-development", he further said, "In 2009 alone, they have caused 183 violent attacks on economic targets including railway tracks, telephone towers, power plants, mines, school buildings and panchayat bhavans."


Chidambaram later said, if the Naxalites accuse the elected governments of capitalism, land grabbing, exploiting and displacing the tribal people, and denying rights of forest-dwellers, what prevents them from winning power through elections and reversing current policies and putting in place policies that they think will benefit the people? (ANI)


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