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India to reassert authority over Maoists says HM
Published on 22 Jan. 2010 11:35 PM IST
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Home Minister P. Chidambaram declared Friday that states had agreed to coordinate actions against Maoist guerrillas and that the government’s goal was to reassert authority in rebel bastions. “(Our aim is) to reassert the civil administration to be followed immediately by development in areas dominated by Naxalites for quite some years,” Chidambaram said after a meeting with top officials of Orissa, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh here. “The meeting was successful”, the minister told reporters. “We identified progress we made... We identified steps to be taken. “The (anti-Maoist) operations will continue. Our goal is not to kill anyone but to reassert the civil administration to be followed immediately by development in areas dominated by Naxalites for quite some years.” Chidambaram chaired a two-hour meeting at the tate secretariat with Chief Ministers Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh and Navin Patnaik of Orissa, Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil and officials of paramilitary forces. He said that the central government was offering troops and technology to states to take on the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist). “My approach to the CPI-Maoist and other such banned organisations is that you will suspend violence and we will talk. But they are killing people. Even yesterday they killed two boys in Chhattisgarh who belonged to primitive tribes as they wanted to get recruited in (the Indian) army,” he said. “The coordinated operation (against Maoists) is just a few weeks old. No evidence of Maoists getting foreign help The central government does not have any evidence of the Maoists, against whom the security forces have launched a major offensive, getting external monetary help, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Friday. “There is no evidence of the Naxals (Maoists) getting external monetary help though they are getting smuggled arms,” he replied to a query on the issue at a press conference here after presiding over a two-hour meeting with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil and officers of paramilitary forces. Officials who attended the meeting said the participants were of the unanimous view that massive all-round development and infrastructure projects should be taken up in the areas being cleared of and to be cleared of the Maoists. Chidambaram also assured the three states that the centre was committed to provide all help to them, including more funds and paramilitary forces, as also other resources, to get rid of the left-wing extremists. At the press conference, Chidambaram urged the media to not fall to prey to Maoist propaganda, saying: “I will take care of the international media but you shouldn’t give space to Maoist propaganda.” Some suspected Maoists have set three mobile towers on fire in Konwai Village in the Naxal-hit Palamu district, police said today. Around 50 activities of CPI (Maoists) allegedly poured petroleum products on the generator and machines rooms and set it ablaze last night, district SP Arup T Mathew said. All the valuable equipments including the towers, belonging to three different operators, BSNL, Airtel and Idea, were badly damaged, he said. Stating that the ultras were targeting the mobile towers only to disrupt telecommunication system in the district, he said about 15 mobile towers have been set on fire by the Naxalities so far.

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