Public property worst hit by Naxal violence, shows data

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 30 2010, 05:05am hrs
Naxals across the country may have declared they are against the invasion of exploitative industrial capital in forest and tribal areas, but minister of state for home Ajay Maken tabled shocking numbers on Naxal violence and economic targets by these groups in just the last six months. In a written letter in the Lok Sabha, Maken presented data collated by the home ministry showing it is public property, which have been the targets of maximum Naxal violence.

Topping the list of economic targets were 62 forest roads and culverts used by ordinary citizens, and of course security forces. Railway property, especially in Jharkhand and Bihar, was the next big target of attack, which numbered 35. Shockingly, school buildings were the next big target with 20 of them destroyed in the first six months of the year along with 29 telephone towers and exchanges and 14 Panchayat Bhawans.

The private sector was targeted much less than earlier supposed with only two pipelines belonging to the Essar group being targeted. The mining industry, however, has suffered at the hands of the Naxals with 15 incidents of attacks being reported in the current year. Predictably, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have seen and even handed incidence of violence in the mining sector with six incidents each.

Maken also said 116 CRPF personnel had been killed in Naxal violence in the last three months alone. The killing of Naxals had increased continuously during the last three years. In the second quarter of 2010, the equation has changed due to four major incidents, in which 137 personnel of security forces lost their lives mainly by IED blasts and surprise ambushes, he said.