Making it clear that Maoists would not be allowed to have a free run of the place, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said control over naxal-infested areas would be regained. “I am confident that in a period of two to three years we will be able to gain total control over these areas,” he said in an interactive session at the India Economic Summit here.

Since he took over as Home Minister, the States had got involved in tackling the naxal menace and “there is now co-ordinated action against the CPI (Maoists),” Mr. Chidambaram said. The naxals believed in an armed liberation struggle and wanted to expand their area of influence, he said, adding a democratic republican government could not allow this.

“We have to assert our authority.” It was wrong to think that India was more vulnerable in the “cross hairs of many groups,” he said and asserted “we have the capacity to thwart any attack should there be any attack.” The government was capable of containing the naxal menace in a “swift and decisive manner.”

Noting that the States were now taking counter-insurgency measures, he said, “We have had significant successes and we have suffered some casualties too.” He sought to assure the business community about the security situation in the country. “We are no more vulnerable than any other country in the world.”

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