MANGALORE: Confidence-building measures initiated by police among people residing in Naxal-affected Chikmagalur, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada have
yielded positive results, Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) Gopal B Hosur said here on Thursday.
Naxals who earlier had a free run in the region, now have to move about masking their identity and avoid populated locations, he noted.
Participating in a meet the press programme, Hosur said increased police presence in the area including setting up four additional Anti-Naxal Force camps, taking their total number to 12 to have had the desired effect. In addition, five new police stations in this area __ Mallandur, and Jaipura in Chikmagalur, Ajekaru and Amasebailu in Udupi, and at Nagara in Shimoga have been set up to deal with Left wing extremism, he noted.
Referring to the rewards programme announced by the department on Left wing extremists, he said it is evoking good response and this has resulted in important arrests and recovery of arms and ammunition of late. The willingness of young officers to be part of ANF and to serve in the new police stations opened in the Naxal-affected areas is a good sign, he said and added effective steps have been taken to fill up vacant posts in the ANF.
Denying allegations of victimization of people in Naxal-affected areas, Hosur said arrests carried out in more than 80 cases in the recent past have been based on strong evidence against those arrested. There has been proper verification of intelligence gathered on people suspected to have links to Naxalites or those who have been directly involved in acts of Naxalism, he said and added legal steps have been initiated against such persons.
Crackdown on communal elements
Lack of communal amity in Dakshina Kannada is a persistent and major problem, Hosur said and added strict steps have been taken to crack down on people fomenting communal problem. "We have directed leaders of all communities to isolate bad elements among them," he said and added, "We are going after people with a communal track record based on records of such people available with us as part of a concerted effort."
Police officials have been directed to use maximum force to deal with any communal incident. Stating that as per new rules of the game, police officials have been empowered to open fire on elements roaming around with lethal weapons to immobilize them or in the worse case scenario even kill them.
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