Tuesday, June 23, 2009

WB govt accepts Centre’s ban on CPI (Maoists)

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, June 23: The West Bengal government on Tuesday accepted the ban imposed by the Centre on the CPI (Maoists) but remained noncommittal on the way the ban would be implemented on the ground.

.“Centre’s ban is applicable to all states. It should be very clear…West Bengal cannot be left out,” Buddhadeb said during a cabinet meeting chaired by him in Kolkata.

However, the state government is still undecided on how to implement the Centre’s ban on Maoists guerrillas.

“How the ban will be implemented. How the arrests will take place. How the Maoists will be executed it’s all our choice,” he maintained.

Sources have been indicating since yesterday that the state government is unlikely to prosecute the suspected Maoists under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) – the section under which the ultra Left rebels have been placed by the Centre, instead the Maoists will be prosecuted only under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Besides, taking measures aimed at checking the rise of the Naxal movement, the CM said that the state government is also committed to taking administrative measures aimed at the socio-economic uplift of the most neglected and the most deprived section of the society.

“There has been a strong opinion in the party that administrative actions will not be enough. It has to be backed by political activities aimed at the welfare of the weaker sections,” he said.

The state government had earlier refused to accept the restrictions imposed by Centre and a Cabinet meet chaired by Chief Minister was convened to decide on the matter.

The state government’s decision to accept the Centre’s ban also indicates the growing differences with the Left and more importantly in the CPI-M as the party’s general secretary Parkash Karat had yesterday said that he was in favour of a “political resolution to the Naxal problem”.

Other important Left leaders had also come out in the open against imposition of a compete ban on the Maoists.

Importantly, the state government’s decision also coincides with the Naxals’ saying that they are willing for a conditional ceasefire if some of their demands are met.

But the Maoists, who are facing an offensive from security forces at Lalgarh, demanded ceasefire as a pre-condition for the negotiations.

"We are ready for talks with the Centre and West Bengal Government if the intellectuals, who visited the troubled Lalgarh area last Sunday, arrange for a meeting," CPI (Maoist) leader Sagar said in a statement.

However, the Naxal leader said the meeting could be possible only if the central para-military forces were withdrawn immediately from Lalgarh and a ceasefire is declared by the state police, outfit's spokesman Gour Chakraborty told reporters.

On Monday, following a high level meeting against the backdrop of security forces' operations in West Midnapore district in West Bengal, the Union Home Ministry issued a notification declaring the CPI (Maoist) a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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