Government will be able to contain Maoist menace: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, May 12 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said the government is aware of the Maoist menace and has it within its control.

Addressing a book release function here on Tuesday, Chidambaram said: "Naxalism is a problem that is within our control. We are still debating how to control it. The debate is a good debate, hopefully that the end of the debate we will choose a path for ourselves and I think if we persevere on the path we have chosen, we would be able to contain and control the problem of Maoism or Naxalism."

Chidambaram, however, rejected the use of the military on the rebels as was done by Sri Lanka while dealing with the LTTE.

"We cannot use, we ought not to use the Army or the Air Force to battle the Maoists or Naxalites in central India. We may have the capacity to do so but we ought not to do so. That is an ethical factor that would have to enter the decision making process," he added.

Talking on cross-border militancy emanating from Pakistan, Chidambaram said, "It needs to be redefined, as it goes beyond Pakistan to Middle-East countries."

"Terrorism of 'Jihadi' variety is really cross-border terrorism and even the definition of cross-border terrorism has to be amended now. It is no longer just a cross-border and located in Pakistan, it goes beyond Pakistan, it now reaches into some Middle Eastern countries and therefore we have to re-define what cross-border is," he added.

The Maoists, described by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh as the country's biggest internal security threat, started their armed struggle in Naxalbari town of West Bengal in 1967.

Over the past four decades, they have expanded their support among farmers by tapping into resentment at the government's pro-industry push.

The Maoists claim they are crusading for the poor, marginal farmers, and landless labourers.

They have spread into the rural pockets of 20 of India's 28 states. (ANI)

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