Chidambaram asks Maoists to "abjure violence"

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Kolkata, Feb 9 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday asserted that the Government will reclaim the areas presently dominated by Maoists and asked them to abjure violence, saying it is the only option for initiating dialogues with the Government.

Addressing the media after a meeting called by the Centre to help the four Naxal-affected states of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand to co-ordinate their campaign against the rebels, Chidambaram said that the Maoists must halt violence.

"If you abjure violence, that is, if you say halt to violence, we are not asking you to do anything more, if you halt violence, we are prepared to talk to you, on any matter there is a concern. But the condition is you must halt violence," Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram said the progress of operations against the Maoists was steady and slow, but the Government will continue to make further progress.

"Progress is steady and slow but we will continue to make progress," he said.

Chidambaram added that the Government would continue with its anti-Maoist operations to reclaim the areas dominated by them.

Defending the operations, the Home Minister said the operations' objective was not to kill anyone, but to establish civil authority.

While describing the operation as measured, caliberated and carefully controlled operation, Chidambaram said: "We will reclaim the areas which are now dominated by the Maoists."

"Contrary to what sections of the media and NGO's propagated a few moths ago, that there will be a massive carnage, no such thing has happened. In fact our forces both central and state, have acted with great restraint," he further stated.

"We have made it very clear that the purpose of these operations is not to kill anyone these are our own people, we care for them, we care for their lives, object is not to kill anyone, object is to re-establish civil administration," he added.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik attended the meeting, but Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren did not turn up.

The meeting reviewed the strategy adopted to deal with Naxals in the three States and co-ordination among them, as Naxals often travel from one State to another after committing a crime.he discussion stressed on the offensive that will be launched at the interstate junctions of West Bengal-Jharkhand or Bihar-Jharkhand, as these areas are considered to be a breeding ground of the Naxalites.

Issues of development were also discussed during the daylong meet.Director General of Police (DGP)'s of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force (BSF) also attended the meeting along with the top police officials of the Naxal-affected four states. (ANI)

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