Operation against Maoists is hurting people's interest: Patkar

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New Delhi, Dec 16 (ANI): Social activist Medha Patkar has said that offensive by security forces against Maoist rebels in the country is hurting people's interests.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, Patkar said: "The offensive was only encouraging violence.

"This is definite that central and state government whether it is Chhattisgarh or West Bengal, are collectively formulating a strategy, which is useless and is not heading towards solving the crisis but is encouraging violence. It is also hurting the interest of the common people who are at the centre of the struggle for resources and rights," she added.

The Maoist violence-estimated to have caused 600 to 700 deaths annually and the displacement 100,000 civilians-has spread to 182 of India's 602 districts and has been declared as the country's single biggest internal security threat.

The European Commission humanitarian aid department (ECHO), which has been funding relief assistance for thousands of villagers caught up in the violence since 2007, has said it was concerned that its work would be at risk if fighting intensified.

The Maoists have stepped up violence across eastern and central India. They have attacked schools and police stations, and used landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to disrupt infrastructure development projects.

The main objective of the Maoists is to prevent the development of infrastructure in remote areas, which so far has remained their exclusive domain.

Thousands have been killed by Maoists in the recent past. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist threat one of the gravest homegrown threats to India's internal security.

The rebels claim they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers. (ANI)

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