<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session II (Winter Session) </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session II (Winter Session) Friday, December 10, 1999/Agrahayana 19, 1921 (Saka )

Title: Discussion on points arising out of the answer given by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, on 29.11.1999 to Unstarred Question No. 116 regarding funds to combat Naxalism.

17.30 hrs

MR. CHAIRMAN: The House shall now take up Item No.18.

SHRIMATI SHYAMA SINGH (AURANGABAD, BIHAR): Hon. Chairman, Sir, this is a very important subject on which we are going to talk about. This is about the Left Front movements that are taking place in Bihar and the fall out of these activities that are going on for the last many years.

Bihar is in a state of turmoil, as the whole country knows. It is going through a churning process for now quite some years and there seems to be no settlement of any problems whatsoever. The Left wing movement is one of those. Bihar having been in trouble for the last 18 to 20 years in a very acute form, successive Governments have come and gone. They have not paid attention to the basic problems and the basic illness that forsakes state at the moment. As I said earlier, it is a pity that when we talk of Bihar, the only thing that comes to anybody's mind is that of total chaos, of total bedlam, of unemployment and other problems related to non-developmental work that has been there for quite some years.

I think for the last quite some months, while I was in my eection campaign and thereafter when I am sitting in this august House, I choose to say one thing very categorically to this very august audience here that we keep on hearing about the word development. That word has become almost like a favourite that everybody comes across. Indeed, one main malady that is threatening us or is causing a lot of anxiety to the common man is the non-developmental programmes that are besetting every State. Every State has different problems in different magnitude. Right now we are discussing about Bihar and I will restrict myself to one basic problem that is the naxalite movement that is taking place in Bihar.

During my campaign just two months ago, I almost escaped. In a very, very prominent area of Gohaspura and Rafiganj which are very important It is impossible for any common man to secure himself either by day or night, least of all travel like free citizens in a free zone. There is a main reason for the naxalite movement taking place in Bihar or spreading its wings across 32 out of the 54 Parliamentary Constituencies, especially Central Bihar, which means Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Chatra, Nabada and also parts of Palamau where we had a carnage only a month ago. That reason, of course, was that all these districts have caste problems because successive Governments have come and divided the State into basically two zones. Either you talk about class or caste. The socio-economic disturbances that have been caused over the years have been the result of this particular movement taking a very violent shape. For instance, in Jehanabad, at least 18 carnages took place in the last two years. The MO that we adopt here is to discuss it with the Government and the private citizens and also to see that some solution will comes its way. But the solution does come its way and we find ourselves having another carnage, maybe of a wilder nature. For instance, two months ago in Loto, which is in Palamau district, most of the people killed were of minority community.

In Gaya district of Loto which is bordering Palamau, this incident had caused a lot of tremor and a lot of anguish in the minds of the people living in that zone. Therefore, I had asked the hon. Minister two pertinent questions. One was that we have to treat this problem of naxalites on two fronts. One is going to be the political front and the other will be the administration part of it. Now, I know that the Government of India will say that the Government of Bihar has a lot to do with this, for, it is a law and order problem pertaining to the Government of Bihar. Here exactly what I want to say is that if Bihar is not able to cope up with the kind of onslaught that the people are facing everyday, the Centre must intervene and see that some amount of action is taken on a war footing by which we can control this particular movement in Central Bihar and other parts of Bihar.

Sir, I had asked the hon. Minister to give me an answer on four different counts. To begin with, I would like to state that the socio-economic disturbances that have been caused in this area is due to non-developmental programmes. We have no means of communication, no road facilities, there is not enough drinking water, electricity is negligible. Bihar is absolutely in doldrums. Therefore, the whole problem has to be seen in totality. We have to see that the developmental work takes a proper shape. The Government of India must tell the Government of Bihar to account for all the cases of atrocities that are piling up over so many months. The guilty have not been punished. No amount of police officers who have laid down their lives, the rifles which have been recovered from the naxalites, have been brought to light, and public is unaware of the actions that the Government is taking in this direction.

We do need development in a very big way. In Aurangabad, which is my movement, the Sangram Samiti, the Ranbir Sena and the People's War Group, are highly active. Therefore, we will need the Government of India to put its best foot forward.

We would also see that ordinary police men on duty are not geared up and are not competent enough to deal with the situation. All that we need is that the policemen who are taking stock of these things must be trained, especially to counter the naxalite movement. A monitoring system must be established. We should, at least, know that on such and such day, this particular problem was averted because of the very active role that the police played.

I can also tell you Sir, Aurangabad, Jehanabad and all these naxalite-affected areas are without proper police stations. They do not have sufficient police officers to take care of this particular problem. When the police people are there, they are not geared up; they are not making their rounds in the villages; and they sit very quietly in their police stations because they are not motivated. They sit and have their lunches and dinners while naxalites are in operation. Sixty people were killed in Laxmanpur Bathe in Jehanabad area where a high-powered committee had also gone. We would like to know the net result. Nothing really happened. The people are still as insecure as they were six months ago. We have heard from the Ministry that such and such a decision had been taken or such and such an action had been taken. I would like to really know how this problem is being dealt with first by the State Government and what the Government of India is doing to monitor the activities of the State Government.

Lastly, the question which I asked was about the fund allocation to the State of Bihar. I was given an answer by the Ministry that certain funds were allotted under the modernisation scheme for police officers. Now this particular fund is given to all the States in the country. It is nothing very particular for Bihar. In case funds are given to Bihar for security-related purposes, I would like to know exactly what is the amount that goes to Bihar for looking after a policeman on duty, for modernisation of police station, and for construction of roads in these naxalite affected areas of Jehanabad and Aurangabad.

Therefore, what is the extent of importance that they give for this kind of a problem?

One of my questions often asked is how much the Union Government provides funds to Bihar exclusively for the Naxal activities in Aurangabad and Jehanabad; if so, the total funds allotted during the last three years; whether the State Government has not properly utilised the funds and diverted them for other purposes. I would like to state here that I have seen the reply given by the Home Ministry. I find that the Government of India did give funds to Bihar Government under Modernisation of Police Scheme funds. Presumably the Union Home Ministry would like us to know that Bihar used these funds. But it is not clear if the Bihar Government really did so and if it did, how much of that was spent in Aurangabad and Jehanabad districts. These are the two most seriously affected districts. That is why I specifically mentioned as to what steps have been taken to combat Naxalism there. I have not received any reply. Also, are the funds for police modernisation the only funds Bihar has used in this regard? The Government of India has a scheme of reimbursing 50 per cent of the security related expenditure. Therefore, I would like the Ministry to collect the information from the Government of Bihar and give it the topmost priority.

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THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS (SHRI CH. VIDYASAGAR RAO): Hon. Chairman, Sir, I fully agree with the statement or the concern expressed by the hon. Member. I am also acquainted with the gravity of the situation prevailing in Bihar. The nexalite menace is not only in Bihar but it is there in the other parts of the country like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The hon. Member said that she was facing threat during the course of the election campaign. Similarly, I was also facing threat in Andhra Pradesh. You will see that every day one incident or the other is appearing in the newspapers. Most of the police personnel and individuals are targeted. Land mines are planted. Most of the Government buildings are being blasted every day. We are seeing that in the newspapers.

Coming to this question, this emanates from the Unstarred Question No.116 which was answered on 29.11.99. In this question, it was clearly asked:

" (a) Whether the Union Government have been providing funds to Bihar exclusively for the Naxalite belt areas in Aurangabad and Jehanabad;

(b) if so, the total funds allotted during the last three years, year-wise;

(c) whether the State Government has not properly utilised the funds and diverted them for other purposes;

(d) if so, the details thereof; and

(e) the steps proposed to be taken by the Union Government to combat Naxalism in Aurangabad and Jehanabad areas of Bihar?"

The answer was given. I quote:

The funds allotted to the Government of Bihar during 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99 under the scheme of modernisation of the State Police Forces and the amount spent by the State Government are as under..."

Under three categories, details have been furnished. It is because no input is available at the Central Government's end to suggest that the State Government had diverted the funds given to it to combat naxalism for other purpose. Here, the position is to be clarified a bit more to appreciate all aspects. This amount was only given under the Union Scheme for Modernisation of State Police Force. It is given to all the States. This is not only to contain naxalite menace but also to equip the police with more weapons and all other things. As far as this amount is concerned, we have received all the expenditure receipts. The Bihar Government has submitted Utilisation Certificates and also all the Reports. There is no complaint from any side to say that these amounts were diverted.

The main question was put specifically for the amounts given to contain the naxalite menace...(Interruptions) In fact, that was not sent...(Interruptions) Let me complete it. I am on my legs. This amount was spent not only for containing the naxalite menace but also to upgrade the police and equip the police with more machinery and all other things.

PROF. RASA SINGH RAWAT : A sum of rupees one crore was spent.

SHRI CH. VIDYASAGAR RAO: Rupees one crore is not spent. The details are awaited. We are asking for the detailed report for spending rupees one crore.

The second aspect is about the action taken by the Central Government. Under the leadership of Shri L.K. Advani, for the first time in the country, a meeting was held on 5th September, 1998. A Coordination Centre under the Chairmanship of Union Home Secretary with Chief Secretaries of the respective States, where there is the problem is there, had been set up. All the Directors-General of Police are its Members. They are monitoring with all the affected States. Moreover, the Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Advani, was pleased to convene a meeting at Hyderabad where Secretaries, Chief Ministers and Home Ministers from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other affected areas were also present on that day. They tried to evolve a policy. This Coordination Centre is regularly in contact with the State Intelligence and other inputs. They are also consulting the State Governments to take appropriate steps to curb the Naxalite menace.

Not only this, they have gone to the extent of drawing up an independent scheme for reimbursement of the security-related expenditure. The reports were already asked for. Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have furnished the reports for reimbursement as far as 50 per cent reimbursement of the security-related expenditure is concerned. Andhra Pradesh was paid Rs. 10 crore. Orissa was paid Rs. 3.58 crore and Mahatrashtra was paid Rs. 1.96 crore. But as far as Bihar is concerned, the report is yet to be prepared. The Government of Bihar came up with a proposal claiming that they spent about Rs. 214.72 crore. ... (Interruptions)

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SHRI CH. VIDYASAGAR RAO: Let me complete, Madam. ... (Interruptions) The Government of Bihar was asked to prepare an action plan for efficient administration and to equip the Police with modern weaponry and also purchase some vehicles with the latest technology and telecommunication equipment. The proposal has been sent by that Government as far as security-related expenditure is concerned. It is under examination of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It will be decided. Fifty per cent of the amount actually spent by the Government of Bihar for purchase of weaponry, vehicles and so on, would be examined and reimbursed.

The two places were particularly mentioned by her. The Naxalite menace is more in Patna, Bhojpur, Palamau, Chatra, Garva, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jehanabad and Nalanda. They have identified all these districts as `disturbed areas' affected by Naxalite menace. They are claiming to have spent this amount.