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     Raipur, November 15, 2011: Amid allegation of ESSAR Steel paying money to Maoists, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today condemned the alleged funding to naxalites by any corporate houses.

     “Funding to Maoists by big corporate houses are condemnable” Chidambaram told a press conference here.

     The Union Minister was reacting to a question about the alleged funding by some corporate houses to the Maoists.

     ESSAR General Manager DVCS Verma was arrested on September 27, last for assisting Maoists. Verma was the third person to be arrested by the Dantewada police after arrest of a local contractor of ESSAR, B K Lala and a local resident Lingaram Kodopi on September 10.

     Police claimed the Contractor was arrested while handing over Rs 15 Lakh to an alleged Maoist agent Kodopi.

     ESSAR is engaged in transporting iron ore slurry from Kirandul area of Dantewada district to its Visakhapatnam Steel Plant located in eastern coast of India, through a 267 Km pipeline and police claimed the multi-national company was allegedly paying protection money for a smooth running of the transportation.

     Chidambaram also said Maoists are the worst violator of human rights, who are engaged in killing villagers in the name of police informers. “We must condemn the human rights violation by the Maoists. That are not happening,” he said.

     After reviewing the situation with State Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh and top civil and police officials, Chidambaram said naxal related violence have been reported from 85 police stations, spread over eleven districts of Chhattisgarh in 2010.

     Although naxal activities are quite extensive and wide spread in Chhattisgarh, the cases of violence have declined in 2011 compared to 2010, he said.

     The battle would take time to over and “we must focus and eliminate the menace,” he said.

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