Maoist supporters protest against Chidambaram's visit to West Bengal

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Lalgarh (WB), Apr 2 (ANI): Residents of West Bengal's Lalgarh village held a rally on Thursday to protest against the upcoming visit of Home Minister P. Chidambaram to the region.

More than 3000 villagers who support suspected Maoist rebels took part in the rally.

"We want Chidambaram to go back because we don't want him to visit here. We want withdrawal of Joint Force. How development will progress, that should be discussed in Delhi? What does he want to do here? We will continue protest against Joint force movement. Our agitation will continue," said Dilbodh Mahato, a villager.

Chidambaram is expected to visit Lalgarh on April 4, where the State and central forces carried out joint operations against suspected Maoists and regained many affected areas. He will take stock of the situation and boost the morale of the forces.

Lalgarh is regarded as the stronghold of suspected Maoist rebels.

Most Maoist rebels have ignored calls from the Government to renounce violence and negotiate. Instead, they have stepped up their attacks in recent months, prompting the government to go after them in a concerted strike.

Maoist rebels, had on February 22, offered a conditional 72-day ceasefire through the media, and said they were willing to talk to the government if it aborts Operation Green Hunt. Many believe the offer was a ruse to enable them to regroup.

The Maoists contend they are fighting for the rights of the poor, marginal farmers and the landless labourers. (ANI)

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