New Delhi, June 19 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday said the security forces would take more time than previously anticipated, though they were moving cautiously towards the Maoist claimed "liberated zone" in West Bengal state.
"An operation of this kind will take some time. In fact it will take considerably more time than what some of you may have anticipated or assessed. The forces are moving towards Lalgarh," said Chidambaram in the capital.
Crack units of commando forces on Friday started moving towards the tribal belt of Lalgarh in west Medinipur district of West Bengal which the Maoists had laid siege and declared as 'liberated zone'.
Chidambaram said that the government was not at war with the rebels and asked them to lay their arms and join in discussions.
"Taking to arms and claming to quote un quote liberate zones in a state is not the way we function in a democratic republic. We are not at war with them. I think the word war should not be used. We are dealing with the situation where there is a militant organization and we want them to lay down arms and come and talk to the government," Chidambaram added.
Chidambaram also was critical of the reports insinuating that the Congress or the Trinimool Congress were supporting the Maoists in their protests in the state.
"Both the congress leaders of West Bengal and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders of West Bengal have condemned the atrocities of CPM Maoists. I heard Ms. Mamta Banerjee make that statement on television. I think it's completely unjustified and unwarranted to insinuate that the CPI (M) Maoists are being supported either by the TMC or the Congress," Chidambaram stated. (ANI)