The West Bengal government does not feel the need for the involvement of the army in operations against the Maoists at this moment, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said here on Thursday. The permission of the State governments concerned is need for deployment of the armed forces in respective States, under the rules.

“As of now, no one has asked us our opinion on deployment of the Army, the Navy or the Air Force,” he said.

The Centre, he said, was satisfied with the manner in which the State was tackling the Maoists. West Bengal is in constant touch with the Centre, with the latter offering suggestions on and off.

Joint security operations by Central Paramilitary Forces and the State police to flush out Maoists and activists of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) from Lalgarh and surrounding areas in the Paschim Medinipur district began on June 18.

While 17 companies of paramilitary forces deployed in the region will remain there, the State’s request for additional forces is under the Centre’s consideration, Mr. Sen said.

The State Government ruled out the release of PSBJC convenor Chhatradhar Mahato as is being demanded by certain human right groups and other organisations. The law will take its own course, he said.

West Bengal recently approved slapping of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on convener of the PSBJC Chhatradhar Mahato. Mr. Mahato who was arrested near Lalgarh on September 26.

The Home Secretary said that charges against those belonging to groups associated with the Maoists were being examined at an “individual level.” They will be arrested if there is enough evidence against them.


Army is not the answer: BardhanOctober 9, 2009