New Delhi, June 19 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram today asked the Maoists to lay down arms and come forward for negotiations.
Talking to reporters here, Chidambaram assured that the Centre shall facilitate their talks with the West Bengal government.
"The state government is in regular touch with the Centre and the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday," he added.
He said the operation in Lalgarh was not aimed at local tribals but at the Naxals who have taken control of the area.
"The action against the Maoists were going on according to the plan and it would be successful soon," he added.
He further said that the operation would continue for some more time.
"The West Bengal police forces were in adequate number and they should lead the operation from the front as they are doing. The CRPF will assist them," he added.
Earlier, the West Bengal Police supported by Central Paramilitary forces launched "Operation Lalgarh" to clear the areas in and around Lalgarh from Maoist captivity in West Midnapore district.
The troops were halted from crossing the Jhatika forest beyond Pirrakula last night, as the area was not cleared of the landmines. Anti- landmine vehicles were deployed in operation and the forces now are heading towards the ground zero.
According to sources, the march of security forces faced a stiff resistance by "human wall" in Malida, consisting of hundreds of tribal carrying traditional weapons like bows, arrows and shouting pro-Maoist slogans. (ANI)