Monday, Nov 24, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Referring to the criticism against the incident made by a few groups and individuals who claimed that police killed the two women in a fake encounter, Mr. Kharge said senior police officials, who visited the spot, made it clear that the two were killed in a shootout.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Kharge said, "We cannot disbelieve the version of police officials who witnessed the encounter. We have to believe somebody.''
Mr. Kharge declined to answer queries on how police concluded that the two women who were killed in the encounter were naxalites in the absence of any case filed against them in any police station about their alleged illegal activities. When he was told that there was no case history against the two women, he said: "This is a sensitive matter and the Government will take stock of the situation and act.'' He did not agree that the police encounter was in violation of the human rights of the two women and another who was injured in it.
He also ruled out any move to ban the People's War (PW) in the State. The Government was confident of dealing with the threat posed by extremist groups without proscribing the PW. Though this group had posed a threat in villages in Raichur, Tumkur and Gulbarga bordering Andhra Pradesh a few years ago, the Government handled the situation well by curtailing the movement of its members, he said.
The Government would deal with the threat posed by naxalites and other extremist groups by solving the problems faced by people in the affected areas. The Government would provide basic infrastructure in the affected villages and also solve other problems faced by the people there. He said the Government could not take up any development work in the areas in the National Park at Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district as the Supreme Court had directed the Government not to disturb the environment in the national park by taking up any such work. He said a meeting of Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, Chief Executive Officers of the districts affected by naxalite activities and senior officials of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Development, the Finance Secretary and the Development Commissioner was held in Bangalore on Friday last to chalk out plans to take up development works in the affected areas.
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