The Uttar Pradesh government said on Tuesday further steps would be taken to contain the spread of the Maoist network in the State and curb naxalite activities.

The assurance was given in the Vidhan Sabha by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma after Bharatiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party members expressed concern over the spread of the Maoist network following the arrest of eight suspected members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Kanpur on Monday.

Describing the naxal menace as a serious issue, Mr. Verma said steps had been taken to tighten security in naxalite-affected regions and strengthen the intelligence network. The arrests were the result of the steps taken by the government, he added.

Mr. Verma said the U.P. government was coordinating with the governments of the neighbouring States (Bihar and Jharkhand), and added that since 2004, there had not been a single big incident of naxalite violence in the State. He said a two-pronged strategy had been launched to contain the problem.

Raising the issue, Radha Mohandas Agarwal of the BJP said the arrest of some members of the CPI (Maoist) was the result of “Operation Greenhunt.” He said earlier that it was known that naxalite activities were limited to the Mirzapur, Chandauli and Sonebhadra districts, and that the additional Director-General (Law and Order) recently said their network was to be found in Azamgarh, Deoria, Ghazipur and Ballia. He said the rise of naxalism was linked to the backwardness of the region.

While Shyamdev Roy Chowdhary of the BJP drew a nexus between the Maoists and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the SP’s Amarmani Tripathi said the gains of development projects had not percolated down to forest and village dwellers.

Keywords: naxalismLalji Verma