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WB CM For Simultaneous Anti-Maoist Drives In Orissa, Jharkhand

To ensure success of the anti-Maoist drive in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday in Kolkata said, advocated simultaneous operations in Orissa and Jharkhand. "No drive in West Bengal will succeed unless identical
PTI May 21, 2010 22:22 IST
PTI
To ensure success of the anti-Maoist drive in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday in Kolkata said, advocated simultaneous operations in Orissa and Jharkhand.

"No drive in West Bengal will succeed unless identical anti-Maoist operations are launched in adjoining Orissa and Jharkhand since Maoists are spread over three states," he told a private TV channel here.

Expressing concern over the spurt in Maoist activities, he said combined operations by state and central forces should be consolidated.

Disagreeing that his government was not taking tough stand against the Maoists, Bhattacharjee said arrests would not solve the problem and People's Committee against Police Atrocities leader Chhatradhar Mahato was arrested quite late.

The chief minister admitted that the crux of the problem lay in the poor socio-economic condition of backward tribals which has to be mitigated through development programmes.

"Maoists operate in nine states from inaccessible areas where development worth the name has not taken place at all," he said.

The chief minister said socio-economic problems in the tribal areas, from where the Maoists operated, could be solved only by introducing PDS, drinking water and irrigation facilities.

 Bhattacharjee said 90 per cent of those killed in Maoist attacks were poor marginal farmers, sharecroppers and landless labourers in West Bengal.

 Stating that an organised force was behind Maoists operating in several states, he said, "It is time to stop all blame game and consolidate efforts to take on the menace."

 Bhattacharjee renewed his charge against the Trinamool Congress for maintaining links with Maoists, saying "I have a list of instances to prove my point."

He alleged that Trinamool workers were providing support to Maoists in pinpointing the houses of CPI(M) activists at Pirakata, Salboni, Jhargram (I and II) and Goaltore where CPI(M) workers were killed and bodies thrown on roads.

Without naming Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee, he said, "It is ridiculous that claims are still being made that Maoists don't exist in West Bengal whenever the ultras commit crimes."

Asked why the police did not arrest Trinamool workers for their links with Maoists, Bhattacharjee quipped "I want to see till the end."

He also said that Maoists together with the Trinamool Congress were creating a dangerous situation in Nandigram. PTI