West Midnapore (West Bengal), Apr 19 (ANI): The Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) observed a 'Black Day' in West Midnapore District's Salboni village to protest the anti-Maoist 'Operation Green Hunt' launched against them by the Central Government.
A large number of activists shouting slogans, waving black flags and wearing black rosettes participated in the protest march on Sunday.
"Today, our protest is against non-development in these areas. Is it correct to stop our agitation by pressurizing us by using force," said PCAPA leader Dilbodh Mahato.
"After 63 years of Independence, we don't have water in these areas despite the active role played by we tribal people in struggle for Independence. The government has no right to say this," he added.
Stating that Naxalites want to overthrow the established authority of the Government through armed liberation struggle, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had on Thursday said the country needs a strong head, a stronger heart and enormous staying power to counter the Maoist menace.
Making a detailed statement in the Rajya Sabha on the Dantewada massacre, in which at least 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a policeman were killed by the Maoists, Chidambaram reiterated the Centre's readiness to assist State Governments in tackling the problem at hand.
"To counter the menace of Naxalism we need 'a strong head, a stronger heart and enormous staying power,' I believe that the Government has all three qualities," Chidambaram said.
"The Central Government stands ready and willing to assist the State Governments and to coordinate inter-State operations," he added.
The 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.
The Maoists contend they are fighting for the rights of the poor, marginal farmers and the landless labourers. (ANI)