Maoists also terrorists, says minister

Placing Maoists and terrorists on the same pedestal, Minister for State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), V Narayanasamy, on Tuesday advocated launching a concentrated effort in curbing this ‘menace.’

“I do not distinguish between terrorists and Maoists,” he said reacting to queries about the recent attack on a Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh, killing several leaders.

Pointing out that the Maoists indulged in extortion, and were able to acquire modern weaponry, he said: “Where are they getting these things from? They are no different from the terrorists, the Centre and the state must act together in curbing this menace.”

Narayanasamy supported Defence minister A K Antony’s argument over the Army’s participation in anti-Naxal operations and said  “...the Defence minister has already made it clear, we are not going to deploy the Army to fight naxals.”

Narayanasamy said non-governmental organisations and those ‘propagating naxalism’ should learn their lessons, as their behaviour is ‘anti-national.’

Launching an attack on the incumbent BJP government in Chhattisgarh, Narayanasamy said the attack was a reflection of the complete failure of the district administration, which the state government was responsible for.

“It is their duty to protect Congress leaders. Several important leaders have been eliminated in Saturday’s attack which was allowed to take place despite the government being informed about the yatra. But the security provided was not sufficient, they have failed in performing their duties,” he said.

State govt criticised

The state government had not been able to control the situation even with all the support the Centre provided – helicopters, weapon system and CRPF personnel (54 battalions). There would be at least 4,000 security personnel when Chhattisgarh chief minister would address a rally, Naranayasamy said.

“...But where were they (security personnel) when an entire convoy of Congress leaders was going?”he said.

On whether the Home Affairs ministry would act directly in Chhattisgarh, he said “the state governments, especially the BJP-ruled governments opposed the formation of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and have even otherwise been maintaining that law and order are state subjects and that the Centre should not interfere. Now they have failed in performing their duty and maintaining law and order.”

“...We will not interfere with their functioning, but I strongly believe that there is a need for the Centre and the naxal-affected states to work together to curb the menace,” he said.

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