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Lalgarh operations getting over

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After 18 days, the first bus from Medinipur to Lalgarh crosses the Jhitka forest on Wednesday. The public transport system was affected during the unrest created by Maoists in Lalgarh and its surroundings.
After 18 days, the first bus from Medinipur to Lalgarh crosses the Jhitka forest on Wednesday. The public transport system was affected during the unrest created by Maoists in Lalgarh and its surroundings.

Special Correspondent

Chidambaram wants CPI(Maoist) declared “unlawful organisation”

NEW DELHI: Continuing with the pre-poll practice of presenting a monthly “report card” of his Ministry, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday described the operations in Lalgarh, West Bengal, as the “most important event” last month.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the operations by the security forces were still under way in Lalgarh, but expressed satisfaction at the “able assistance” of the Central paramilitary forces to the State police in reclaiming most of the territory that was under the CPI (Maoist) for nearly eight months.

He reiterated his view that the State government should also ban the CPI (Maoist), proscribed by the Centre as a “terrorist” organisation. His suggestion was for declaring it an “unlawful association” under the provisions of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. The CPI (Maoist) was a terrorist organisation in its previous avatar, the Minister said.

He said the objective of the operations in Lalgarh was to recover the territory dominated by Maoists over which the civil administration had lost control. “Operations are still not over, but nearing completion. It is the duty of the civil administration to encourage the people to return to their villages. In the bargain, some political developments have taken place. I am yet to see a copy of the letter written by my Cabinet colleague Mamata Banerjee to the Prime Minister. I will have a meeting with her soon after studying her letter.”

Another important development in June was the operationalisation of the NSG hubs at Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. He also announced the launch of the second “Action Plan” of the Home Ministry drawn up for June to September.

“The items that have spilled over from the first Action Plan of February-May 2009 have been included in the second Action Plan,” he said.

Referring to the Coastal Security Scheme, Mr. Chidambaram said 73 coastal police stations were approved in nine States – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal and the Union territories of Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He said 59 of them had become operational.

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