Cabinet meet on security to review Maoist policy

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Home Minister P. Chidambaram Monday indicated that the government may revisit its anti-Maoist policy at a cabinet meeting on security soon in the wake of a surge in Left-wing attacks that have killed over 300 people since the beginning of the year.

‘I am told that a meeting of the CCS is being scheduled shortly,’ Chidambaram told reporters in response to a question on whether there was any move to revisit the government’s anti-Maoist policy. The home minister has said that he has been given a ‘limited mandate’ to tackle Left-wing violence.

On being asked by reporters whether the air force could be used to give support to the paramilitary and police in the jungles in their anti-Maoist operations, he said: ‘You will be told as and when any decision will be taken.’

Three days after suspected Maoists sabotaged a rail track in West Bengal’s Jhargram causing a passenger train’s derailment and deaths of around 150 people, the union home minister reiterated that the government was willing to talk to the rebels provided they abjure violence.

‘Abjuring violence as a pre-condition for talks applies to all insurgents groups, including Maoists,’ said Chidambaram.

He ruled out any plans to have a separate wing in the home ministry to deal with cases of terrorism by right wing Hindu fundamental groups. ‘There is no need to create separate cells in the ministry to deal with terrorism by different groups.’

‘Right-wing terrorism, left-wing terrorism, terror is terror. There is the National Investigation Agency to probe all types of terrorism related cases,’ he said.

The train accident Friday was the ninth major attack by the rebels since the beginning of the year that have claimed the lives of nearly 300 civilians and security personnel. On April 6, Maoists butchered 76 security men in Dantewada.

–indo-asian news service