Swap with Naxals an exception, won't be a policy, says Bhattacharjee

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, Oct 24 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said here on Saturday that the exchange of Naxals' supporters for a policeman was an exception and will not be a policy of his government.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of a Communist Party of India (Marxist) Central Committee meeting here, Bhattacharjee said: "Freeing prisoners is not part of our policy or mission."e added that his government is trying to get the Maoists out of West Bengal.

On Thursday, the West Bengal Government released 26 tribal women who were arrested on charges of supporting the Maoist movement.

On Friday, West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen reportedly said there was no other option but to give in to the Naxal demand.

Justifying the decision, Sen said India is a soft state, and that there are precedents in the past. He cited the release of militants in the Kandahar hijack case and the Rubaiya Sayeed kidnapping case.

Reacting to Sen's statement, Bhattacharjee said: "It was his personal opinion and not of the West Bengal Government's and he personally feels that India is not a soft state."

Denying allegations of withdrawing forces from the operational areas in the Lalgarh region Bhattacharjee said: "We asked the police to halt the operation for a couple of hours to complete the rescue procedures. It was just a few hours ceasefire."

Earlier this week, the red ultra's killed two policemen and kidnapped another officer Attindranath Dutta, from West Bengal's Midnapore District.

The ultras who came on motorbikes, also looted over Rs. nine lakh from a nearby State Bank of India branch before making good their escaping.

Dutta was released on Thursday after negotiations. (ANI)

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