Left-wing extremism will be put down firmly: Chidambaram (Lead)

January 19th, 2009 - 11:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Jan 19 (IANS) Holding that the Maoists’ armed struggle in Chhattisgarh was “unacceptable”, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Monday this would be “firmly and decisively” dealt with.”The Maoists believe in armed struggle and so-called liberation. This is unacceptable in a democratic republican system,” the minister told reporters after a high-level meeting here to assess the situation in the state’s Maoist-hit areas.

“Squarely, boldly, firmly and decisively we have to deal with left wing extremism,” he said, adding there would be some civilian casualties while taking on the ultras “but we have to minimize it”.

Chief Minister Raman Singh, state Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar, police chief Vishawa Ranjan, Chief Secretary P. Joy Oommen and several key officers of the paramilitary forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations attended the meeting.

According to Chidambaram, Chhattisgarh had made “significant success” in Surguja district and other Maoist-affected areas. He noted that police have regained 40 percent of the area under the rebels and that operations were underway in 20 percent of the areas.

Pointing out that the central government had given “full support to Chhattisgarh”, he said a large number of paramilitary forces, besides money, had been provided to the state. “I have assured them of our full support,” he added.

“Left-wing extremism is the enemy of development and the state must pay attention boldly and squarely to defeat it,” Chidambaram maintained.

He said seven Indian states were facing left wing extremism and the central government was working with them to stamp this out.

Chidambaram, however, ducked a question on the controversial Salwa Judum anti-Maoist movement, saying: “I have no comment on it.” He added that the chief minister had described it as a spontaneous people’s uprising against Left extremism.

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