Maoists problem continues to be a matter of concern: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here on Monday that ultra left wing extremism in some parts of the country still continues to be a cause of concern, but expressed confidence about State Governments gradually reclaiming control over areas now dominated by Naxalites.

Presenting his ministry's report card for the month of January, Chidambaram said: "The situation in the States affected by left wing extremism continues to be a cause of grave concern."

"I am also confident that State Governments would be able to gradually reclaim control over areas that are now dominated by the Naxalites," he added.

Chidambaram said in 2009, 591 civilians, 317 security forces and 217 Maoists activists had been killed.

"The increase in the number of incidents and casualties is not surprising because, after a review of the policy, State Governments decided to deploy a larger number of security forces and engage the Naxalites in the districts dominated by them with a view to re-establishing the authority of the civilian government," Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram clarified that the Centre is co-ordinating inter state operations, while State Governments are solely responsible for intra state operation.

Commenting about his meeting with the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa on February 9. Chidambaram said: The meetings are being conducted to review the ongoing operations and fine tune them."

This is the second meeting in the last two months where Chidambaram is reviewing anti-Maoists operations. In January, he held a meeting with Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Orissa in Raipur.hidambaram said the anti Maoists operations will be carried out stage by stage.

"The security forces will be engaged to regain control over the area and to establish civilian administration," Chidambaram said. (ANI)

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