Death Toll More in Naxal Violence

police-maoist-ambush-attack_64391The Naxal extremists are posing more danger than other terrorists in the country. This long brewed violence is going unchecked in the some of the worst affected states like Chattisgarh. It is importat and urgent to check these merchants of death at the earliest to save the country from the worst crisis.

The Times of India writes (17 July 2009)

More than 3,800 people have lost their lives in naxal violence in the country in the past five years with the number of casualties

increasing every year since 2004.

The annual report of the home ministry for 2008-09, released this week, says that a total of 3,338 persons were killed in 7,806 incidents of naxal violence which took place in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka from 2004 to 2008.

The total number of casualties increased to 3,823 till July 13 this year. This reflects home minister P Chidambaram’s grim assessment of the situation when he told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the naxal threat was “underestimated” for many years.

The country witnessed the killing of 566 persons in naxal violence in 2004; 677 in 2005; 678 in 2006; 696 in 2007 and 721 in 2008. The year 2009 has so far reported the killings of 485 persons including 230 security personnel.

The annual report said the highest casualties during the period (2004-08) were in Chhattisgarh where a total of 1,250 people lost their lives in 2,654 incidents. The state saw 242 deaths last year, 369 deaths in 2007 and 388 in 2006. Naxal violence claimed 776 lives in Jharkhand, one of the worst affected states, in the last five years.

In 2008 alone, the state witnessed 207 deaths from 484 incidents of violence. Altogether, 452 people lost their lives in Bihar in 915 incidents in the last five years. Last year, there were 73 deaths in 164 incidents of naxal violence in Bihar while in 2007, 67 deaths in 135 incidents were reported.

Andhra Pradesh witnessed 420 deaths in 1,252 incidents in the last five years. There was less violence in the state last year — 46 deaths in 92 incidents — in comparison to 2005 when there were 208 deaths in 535 incidents, the home ministry report said.

The Maoist violence claimed 149 lives in Orissa in 291 incidents that took place between 2004 and 2008. Incidentally, 101 deaths had taken place in 2008 alone in 103 incidents.

While West Bengal witnessed 71 deaths in 115 incidents, there were 35 naxal related deaths in Uttar Pradesh and 18 deaths in Karnataka.


Towards Universal Nuclear Disarmament

NuclearDisarmamentUniversal nuclear disarmament is urgently needed to ensure peace and prosperity of the world. If the current generation of the world leaders are giving good life for the present and future generations nuclear disarmament should be immediately enforced.
President Barack Obama has created optimism about the future of nuclear disarmament by calling for a “reset” in relations with Russia, which would
include significant cuts in the size of the nuclear arsenals that both nations possess. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the US and Russia is due to expire in December this year. While this treaty allows both sides to possess up to 2,200 warheads and 1,600 delivery vehicles, Obama would like to see these figures whittled down to 1,500 warheads carried on 500 to 1,000 delivery vehicles. Even more interestingly, Obama has set out a vision for a world rid entirely of nuclear weapons.

During the Cold War the US and the USSR armed themselves to the teeth with nuclear forces on hair-trigger alert, provoking the nightmare spectre of a threat to humanity’s existence itself in case of a nuclear exchange between the two superpowers. With the end of the Cold War, mutually assured destruction mutated into a new kind of threat. Nuclear weapons became a currency of power and nations became determined to acquire them. This enhances the possibility of leakages to non-state actors, whether by design or accident. Nuclear bombs, in fact, could become the ultimate terrorist weapon of blackmail.

Responding to this new situation, even former nuclear hawks such as Henry Kissinger have been calling for universal nuclear disarmament as a means of warding off the threat of nuclear proliferation. It’s an idea that Rajiv Gandhi also mooted in a speech to the UN General Assembly in June 1988. The thing about disarmament, though, is that it has to be mutually coordinated across nations. India, for example, cannot unilaterally disarm if Pakistan and China retain their nuclear weapons.

Although climate change is more on the global agenda nowadays, nuclear disarmament poses similar issues. Acting on either would require many nations undertaking simultaneous actions. Yet ignoring them can have catastrophic consequences not limited by national boundaries. In both senses they are global issues which require, among other things, consciousness-raising by media across the world. In May 2009, The Times of India Online received the highest number of hits among English newspaper websites in the world, placing it much ahead of The New York Times or The Sun. Moreover it’s a brand with global reach, as 65 per cent of TOI Online’s readers come from outside India. This newspaper can, and will, play its role in alerting people across the world to the dangers posed by nuclear proliferation and ways in which the spread of such weaponry can be reversed.