More Indian paramilitary troops to join anti-Maoist operations

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New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said that India would renew anti-Maoist operations with the deployment of additional paramilitary troops.

Chidambaram revealed this at a meeting with the State Chief Ministers and top police officials of affected states here on Thursday.

Chidambaram committed more paramilitary battalions to fight Maoist rebels after the forces were relieved of prolonged deployment and patrolling in the worst-hit eastern Jharkhand during the nearly month-long state polls held between November 25 and December 18.

"I talked to the Home Minister on a one-to-one basis on Chhattisgarh and issues related to it. The anti-Maoist operations are being carried out successfully and the issue of deployment of additional security personnel in Chhattisgarh and other Maoist infested states was also broached during the meeting. He said, once the elections in some states were over, the forces can be pulled out from there," said Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.

The Maoist violence-estimated to cause 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 challenge.

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 Maoists claim they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, but they are fast losing credibility as they continue attacking schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects. (ANI)

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