Naxals are terrorists, says Raman Singh

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New Delhi, May 19 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Wednesday said Maoist insurgency is the worst form of terrorism in India. He was critical of those who showed sympathy towards the Maoists.

Addresssing a news conference here, Raman Singh said the ultras have killed more than 1,000 civilians and 650 policemen besides destroying 106 school buildings, 132 electric towers and three hospitals in the State.

"If they are not terrorists then who else is? In full public glare they kill people in villages, they ambush and kill security personnel, they trigger IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blasts in villages and on highways. If these are not acts of terrorism, then I would like to ask how would you define terrorism?" asked Raman Singh.

The Human Right Activists, he said, were biased towards Maoists. They did not care about the rights of security personnel and civilians who are being killed by the ultras.

"Even if one Maoist insurgent is killed, the human rights activists in Delhi cannot stop their tears. Their tears are one-sided; even their thinking is one-sided. 76 CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel were killed; civilians are being killed by Maoists, then no tears are being shed. But if there is any incident involving Maoist sympathisers or supporters, then they make a big issue of it in Delhi," said Singh.

Reacting to a question about the use of air strikes against the rebels, Singh said air power could not be used to attack the insurgents as it may result in major collateral damage. He , however , favoured the use of helicopters.

"As far as the use of helicopters is concerned, military helicopters can be used for rescue and relief. I don't think anybody would have problems with that," said Singh.

Raman Singh arrived in the capital Wednesday to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

About 35 persons including policemen were killed when Maoist rebels detonated a landmine targeting a bus in Dantewada district of the state on Monday (May 17), the second major attack in as many months.

The attack in the mineral-rich state was the worst since a brutal strike by Maoists in the same region in April, which killed at least 76 policemen.

The Maoists are active in rural areas of central and eastern India and often attack railway lines and mining operations to cripple economic activity, such as the transportation of coal to power and steel plants.

The rebel movement started as a peasant revolt in Naxalbari village in West Bengal in 1967, giving Maoists the local name of 'Naxals' or 'Naxalites'.

The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and marginal farmers and landless labourers. (ANI)

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