BANGALORE: There could be around 25 to 30 naxals in the state of which only eight to 10 are hardcore ideologically indoctrinated; the rest are hired killers, said Home Minister R Ashok.
“Due to sustained and coordinated effort of the antinaxal force along with the respective district police, the number of naxals have come down.
They have been trying to project their number as around 25 by hiring antisocial elements from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka,” he replied to a question raised by Ashwathnarayana of the BJP.
According to Ashok, the strength of the ANF is about 543 which is headed by an IGP officer.
“They are being trained in commando operation by a serving army officer of the rank of major general.
The state is equipped to deal with the naxals,” he added. Describing the problems of naxalism as a socio-economic issue, Ashok said the government adopted a twopronged approach to solve the problem.
This includes undertaking developmental activities in villages and solving the economic problems of the poor. “At the same time, the police, too, will mount pressure on the naxals to surrender their arms,” he said.
He added in a recent raid a large quantum of sophisticated arms and ammunition were recovered.