'Naxal violence drops in Bengal;suggestion of talks'

P Chidambaram
New Delhi, Jul 6: The Centre today (Jul 6) said Maoists violence has come down significantly in West Bengal and there are suggestions that peace talks can be held with the extremists.

"The DGP (of West Bengal) told us that the level of violence has come down to nearly zero. And there are perhaps suggestions that some kind of talks can take place," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters when asked to comment on reports about suspension of operations against Naxals there.

Asked who would hold the peace talks, the Home Minister said "these are suggestions in the air" and nothing much should be concluded from it.

Chidambaram said it may not be correct to say that operations against the Maoists have completely stopped in West Bengal.

"I think intelligence based operations on a very selective basis are still taking place in West Bengal in affected areas and arms have been seized," he said.

However, the Home Minister said, according to the Director General of West Bengal Police these were "very selective operations".

"As long as there is no violence, I think we should allow the new government to assess the situation and take a position," he said.

There have been reports that ever since Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee assumed charge as the Chief Minister of West Bengal, operations against the Naxals have been suspended and there was hardly any violence perpetrated by Maoists in the state.


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