Centre asks W. Bengal Government to ban Maoists under 1908 Act

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New Delhi, June 28 (ANI): The UPA Government has reportedly asked the Left Front government in West Bengal to declare the CPI (Maoist) an "unlawful association" and ban it under a 1908 Act.

Home Ministry officials have advised the West Bengal government to outlaw the CPI (Maoist) because the UAP Act, under which it declared the outfit as banned on June 22, is essentially directed against unlawful associations that support secession.

"The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (CLAA) has a very different objective. It is directed against associations, which encourage or aid person to commit acts of violence or intimidation. The power is vested in the state government to declare an association as unlawful," a Home Ministry official said.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had said last week that the state government should ban the Maoists.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said the state government would enforce the Central ban, which reluctant Left Front partners also accepted after some persuasion by Bhattacharjee.

The Central Government advisory comes a day after security forces captured Ramgarh, an area under Maoists in a two-sided attack to reclaim areas in West Midnapore district.

Security forces had to face stiff resistance as Maoists had detonated landmines and opened gunfire.

Security forces headed from Lalgarh in the south and Kadasole in north on Friday, towards Ramgarh.

Ten companies consisting of 1000 men of the CRPF, the India Reserve Battalion and Rapid Action Force set out from Kadasole. They had to counter firing and three landmine explosions Maoists.

In response to the Maoist attacks, the security forces struck back with AK-47s, mortars and rocket propelled grenade launchers, the officer said.

A mine detection unit and a team from the District Intelligence Bureau preceded the security forces, which also comprised jungle warfare experts of the CRPF.

Maoists also burnt down an office of the All India Trade Union Congress, when they were not allowed to take refuge in the building shortly before the security forces entered Ramgarh. (ANI)

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