Condemns brutal killing of Congress leaders in Bastar

Facing criticism for not curtailing his U.S. visit in view of last week’s massacre by Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he had taken prior permission to stay till May 29. He returned on Thursday after the week-long visit though the official dialogue with the U.S. authorities on security issues got over on May 23 itself.

“I had a meeting with an eye specialist and I had got permission to extend the stay,” Mr. Shinde told journalists here. Defending his silence over the killings, he said: “There was no need for me to issue a statement because I was in touch with MoS Home [R.P.N Singh].”

Earlier, Mr. Shinde said: “It was an attack on democracy… I strongly condemn the brutal and inhuman killing of leaders and people in Bastar.”

Mr. Shinde, however, cautioned that Maoists could strike at some urban centres. “There is specific information that Naxals are planning attacks in urban centres... We have specific information about Pune. There are many areas where Naxals have a stronghold.”

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