Government extends ban on CPI-Maoist across IndiaJune 22nd, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The central government Monday extended the ban on the CPI-Maoist across the country, including West Bengal, which has so far resisted moves to declare the outfit a terrorist organisation, home ministry sources said.
The outfit is already banned in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, where the Maoist rebels have a presence.
Home ministry officials said the CPI-Maoist has been banned under the the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that is applicable all over the country. However, individual states have to issue their own notifications banning the organisation.
The government had been pressing the West Bengal government to also ban the outfit. The security forces have been conducting combing operations against the Maoists in the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore district for the last five days.
They have been searching villages in the area for Maoist rebels who are in hiding as also for leaders of a tribal group that has declared the area to be “liberated”.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram, at a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee over the weekend, had advised him to ban the organisation.
However, Bhattacharjee only said his government was giving “serious thought” to the suggestion and the issue would have to be discussed with other Left parties before a decision was taken.
–indo-Asian News Service