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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

‘National Policy and Action Plan’ Bearing Fruits in Fight Against Maoist Terror

The significant features of the new policy were zero tolerance towards violence coupled with a big push to developmental activities.

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NEW DELHI: The government’s ‘National Policy and Action Plan’ since 2015 to combat Left Wing Extremism (LWE), which envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security and development related measures, is bearing encouraging fruits.

The significant features of the new policy were zero tolerance towards violence coupled with a big push to developmental activities so that benefits of development reached the poor and vulnerable in the affected areas.

MHA had categorized 106 districts in 10 states as Left Wing Extremism affected.

These districts are covered under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme (SRE) of the MHA for the purpose of reimbursement of security-related expenditure like transportation, communication, the hiring of vehicles, stipend for surrendered Maoists, temporary infrastructure for forces etc to the states.

Out of 106 districts, 35 districts which accounted for 80-90 % of country-wide LWE violence were categorized as ‘Most Affected Districts’. This categorization provided the basis for focused deployment of resources – both security and development related.

Over the last few years, a number of districts have been carved into smaller districts. This has resulted in the geographical area of the 106 SRE districts to be spread over 126 districts and that of the 35 most affected districts to be expanded to 36 districts.

Over the last four years, there has been a substantial improvement in the LWE scenario.

Incidents of violence have seen a 20% decline with a 34% reduction in related deaths in 2017 as compared to 2013. The geographical spread of LWE violence also shrunk from 76 districts in 2013 to just 58 districts in 2017.

Besides, just 30 of these districts account for 90% of the LWE violence in the country. At the same time, certain new districts have emerged as the focus of expansion by the Left Wing Extremists.

MHA recently undertook a comprehensive exercise in consultation with the States to review the affected districts in order to ensure that the deployment of resources is in sync with the changed ground reality.

Accordingly, 44 districts have been excluded and 08 new districts have been added to the list of SRE districts.

In order to counter Maoist efforts to expand their influence in the tribal areas at the tri-junction of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, three districts of Kerala have been included in the list of SRE Districts. Despite the fact that there is hardly any violence in the new districts, the move is pre-emptive.

As a result of the exercise, 90 districts in 11 States will now be covered by the Scheme, down from 126. The list of ‘Most Affected Districts’ has been pruned to 30, down from 36.

The revised categorization is a more realistic representation of the actual LWE scenario.

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

HUGE SUCCESS: Specialist Combat Unit Eliminate 14 Naxals in Gadchiroli

A team of C-60 commandos, a specialised combat unit of the Gadchiroli police, carried out the operation.

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GADCHIROLI (Maharashtra): Fourteen Naxals were killed in an encounter with the police in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district.

Police said a team of C-60 commandos, a specialised combat unit of the Gadchiroli police, carried out the operation.

“Fourteen Naxals were killed in the encounter. Combing operations are still on,” Sharad Shelar, Inspector General of Police, said.

The official said that two district-level commanders of the proscribed outfit, identified as Sainath and Sainyu, were among those killed in the encounter.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Ankush Shinde of Gadchiroli range confirmed the casualties saying,”We have recovered 14 bodies from the spot, which include Sainath and Sinu. This is the first time that two DVC members have been killed in a single operation.”

Sainyu, killed in the operation was a divisional committee member of South Gadchiroli union of CPI (Maoist), and Sainath was commander of Perimili Dalam. The two major divisional committee members in one operation are noted as a major record.

Director General of Police Satish Mathur congratulated the C-60 team which participated in the encounter.

“This is a major operation against Naxals in recent times,” Mathur said.

n 2017, a total number of 19 Naxalites were killed in an encounter region at Gadchiroli. The highest Naxal deaths till now in the above-said region is seven and the number was double in 2013 Korchi tahsil and 2017 in Sironcha tehsil.

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

President Gives Nod to Ordinance for Death Penalty for Rapists of Children Below 12

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

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NEW DELHI: President ram Nath Kovind promulgated The Criminal Law amendment ordinance, 2018 to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to pave way for a death penalty to those found guilty of raping children up to the age of 12 years.

The President’s nod to the ordinance came after the Union Cabinet’s approval yesterday for tightening the law against people involved in rape, following public outcry over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a girl in Unnao.

“Whereas Parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that the circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

Earlier, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 to introduce the death penalty for rape of children younger than 12 years.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

Several political leaders cutting across party lines hailed Centre’s move.

“Now, therefore, in an exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to promulgate the following ordinance,” the gazette notification said.

The ordinance stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 16 and 12 years.

The death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.

The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from the rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

According to the ordinance, in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means jail term till the convicts “natural life”.

The punishment for gangrape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.

Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence.

Gangrape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death, it said.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stand amended with the promulgation of the ordinance after the approval of the President.

The measure also provides for speedy investigation and trial.The time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.

The deadline for the completion of a trial in all rape cases will be two months.

A six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed.

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

It has also been prescribed that a court has to give notice of 15 days to a public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.

Enhancing the powers of the judiciary to provide stringent punishment in rape cases, the Union Cabinet had approved a number of measures, such as strengthening the prosecution, besides setting up new fast-track courts in consultation with the states and high courts concerned,  according to an official.

The National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a national database and profile of sexual offenders.

This data will be regularly shared with the states and the Union territories for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents of sex offenders by the police, the official said.

The present scheme of One Stop Centres for assistance to the victim will also be extended to all districts in the country.

 

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

CRPF Officer Martyred in Gunfight with Maoists

The martyred security person was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

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SUKMA (Chhattisgarh): An officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was martyred in a gunfight with the Maoists in a dense forest in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

The gunfight took place on Friday night in Kistaram police station area when a team of CRPF’s 212th battalion was out on a search-cum-area domination operation, Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said.

The deceased was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

Security forces have launched a combing operation in the area, located around 500 km away from the state capital Raipur.

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