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Updated: January 22, 2010 13:58 IST

Government to reassert authority in Maoist areas: Chidambaram

IANS
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Home Minister P. Chidambaram at Parliament House. Mr. Chidambaram outlined a plan to regain control of areas with heavy naxal activity. File photo
PTI Home Minister P. Chidambaram at Parliament House. Mr. Chidambaram outlined a plan to regain control of areas with heavy naxal activity. File photo

Following a meeting with top officials of Orissa, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the central government was offering troops and technology to States to take on the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram declared on 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,” Mr. 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 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.”

Mr. Chidambaram chaired a two-hour meeting at the State 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. The progress is satisfactory and in future it will be more satisfactory. In many places Naxalites are retreating and we welcome it. But in some areas they are engaged in battle,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

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