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Updated: November 2, 2009 21:56 IST

No plan to use Army against Maoists: Antony

Staff Reporter
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Defence Minister A.K. Antony, a file picture
Defence Minister A.K. Antony, a file picture

The Centre has no proposal before it to deploy the Army to check Maoists’ activities in some States, Defence Minister A. K. Antony said here on Monday.

“The role of the Army is different. The last resort is to use the Army for internal security measures. The government does not intend to use it against the Maoists,” Mr. Antony told media persons after distributing the journalism awards instituted by the Trivandrum Press Club.

The violence perpetrated by the Maoists would be dealt with firmly, the Minister said. No one, including the Maoists, would be allowed to take the law into their own hands. Law and order was a State subject and it was for the States to take action. The Union government was ready to extend all help in this regard and provide paramilitary personnel to deal with internal security problems.

Maoists were operating in West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, Mr. Antony said. Checking Maoist activities was a big challenge for these States.

To questions on maintaining good relations with Pakistan, he said the main impediment was that a large number of terrorist camps was operating on the border. “Unless Pakistan takes sincere and serious steps, it is difficult to improve relations. The government is not for confrontation with its neighbours. We want to maintain good and cordial relations with our neighbours.”

Mr. Antony said there was a continuous effort by Pakistan to push trained terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir. “It is a matter of concern and we are taking all steps to counter it.”

On China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh, he said the country’s stand on the north eastern State was very clear. “Arunachal Pradesh is part of India just like Kerala.”

To a query on the threat to Tamil Nadu fishermen along the Palk Straits from the Sri Lankan Navy, Mr. Antony said the Navy and the Coast Guard had been put on alert. The Tamil Nadu police was also watching the situation.

Mr. Antony said the deadlock between the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress over government formation in Maharashtra would be solved amicably.

Keywords: A.K. AntonyMaoistArmy

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