New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) In the wake of allegedinvolvement of armed party cadres in violence in West Bengal,Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the government does notsupport any individual taking arms in his hands as enforcementof law and order is its own responsibility.
"Government of India does not encourage or support anynon-state actor or non-state player enforcing law and order.
Enforcement of law and order is primarily and exclusively thefunction of the government," he said.
He was replying to a question by a reporter on why thegovernment was allegedly adopting a double standard -- on theone hand it "supported" the Salwa Judum movement inChhattisgarh where villagers were given arms to defendthemselves from Maoists and on the other hand it opposedCPI(M) cadres taking arms in West Bengal.
Chidambaram said when the first time he was asked aboutthe Salwa Judum after he took over as Home Minister, he madeit clear in the Rajya Sabha that the Central government didnot encourage or support any non-state actor or non-stateplayer taking part in enforcing law and order.
"I said we don''t support any organisation -- I said itmay be Salwa Judum, it may be any organisation, we don''tsupport any non-state actor or non-state players taking partin enforcing law and order," he said.
When informed that Special Police Officers were stillactive in Chhattisgarh, the Home Minister said SPOs were notnon-state players and they are appointed by the stategovernment with proper honorarium and duties.
"Please don''t mix up Salwa Judum and SPOs," he said.
Chidambaram said he hoped that West Bengal Chief MinisterBuddhadev Bhattacharjee would do the needful to disarm thearmed cadres and dismantle their camps.
On the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha''s demand to create aseparate Gorkhaland state out of West Bengal, he said ameeting was held on January 25 to discuss their demand and thegovernment was actively considering what steps should be takennext.