Karat faces catch-22 situation over West Bengal Govt.-Maoists swap deal

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New Delhi, Oct 25(ANI): Even as West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is trying to put up a brave face claiming to teach Maoists a lesson, CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat was in a flux on Sunday to react on the State Government's recent swap deal with the Maoists.

Addressing a press conference after a three-day meeting of the CPI (M) Central Committee in the national capital, Karat tried to deflect the questions raised on the swap deal and said that those who were released were not Naxal activists.

"Those people who were released were ordinary people and had been mobilized by the Maoists. Our job is to politically isolate the Maoists. We have decided to conduct a vigorous campaign against the Maoists," Karat said.

On Thursday, the Maoists released an abducted West Bengal police officer, Attendranth Dutta, at Domohini forest after the State Government reportedly agreed to release women Maoist activists in exchange for him.

Karat further stressed that the Maoists menace in West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is of significant threat and said: "The Government should deal with the real problem of the tribal people."

After abducting Attendranth Dutta, Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji had said that Dutt would be released only if a swap deal was made by the West Bengal Government.

The West Bengal Government did not confirm Rao's claim, but 26 women were reportedly released in exchange for Dutta.

Rao had also asked the West Bengal and the Union Governments to halt police action or risk harm to kidnapped police officer Dutta. (ANI)

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