Tuesday, June 23, 2009

WB govt to decide on Maoists ban

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, June 23: Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday will chair a Cabinet meet convened to decide on whether to implement or not the Centre’s decision to ban CPI (Maoists).


Operation Lalgarh: 22 villages freed from MaoistsHowever, as per media reports, in view of the Maoist siege of the Lalgarh town and increased pressure from the Centre, the West Bengal government has reportedly decided to accept ban on the Maoists.

CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechuri has not ruled out a ban on the Maoists. However, he maintained that the problem needed a political solution.

“The ban is not for the state alone. It is for the whole country. The party is meeting today to decide on implementing a ban on Maoists,” he said.

Calling for a dual strategy to tackle the menace of Naxalism, Yechury said, “We have always maintained that the problem needs to be resolved politically. The Prime Minister said that Naxalism is a threat to the country and we all want to boost security.”

However, the state government is unlikely to prosecute the suspected Maoists under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The sources close to the state government have claimed that the suspected Maoists will be prosecuted only under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, some reports claimed that the Maoists are now ready for a conditional ceasefire if some of their demands are met.

A private TV news channel quoted Maoists spokesperson Gaur Chakraboraty as saying,” We will begin talks if our demands are met. If the government withdraws troops we will lay down arms.”

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.

The decision evoked sharp reactions from the West Bengal government, which said that it would ascertain if it was binding for it to rectify the decision and the ruling Left Front said it was useless to ban any organisation.

West Bengal Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty said legal experts are being consulted in this regard. "Only then can we inform you if the Centre's decision is binding on the state government," Chakraborty told reporters.

West Bengal's ruling Left Front also came out in the open and said it was against banning the CPI-Maoist and would counter such outfits politically.

The announcement came two days after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee stated that his government will give serious thought to proscribing the rebels.

On his part, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said, "Maoists must be combated politically and administratively."


Ban to avoid ambiguity: Chidambaram

Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here, yesterday, that the government had put the CPI(M) in the list of banned organisations. He also said that while the Left parties had objections to the decision, the West Bengal government was a separate entity.

Chidambaram said the Government decided on the fresh ban under the UAPA to avoid any ambiguity following the merger of CPI-ML (People's War Group) with the Marxist Coordination Committee.

"It was always a terror organisation and today an ambiguity has been removed that it is a terror organisation," he said.

“We hope the West Bengal government would ratify the decision we have taken,” he said outside his office here. Centre also warned the West Bengal government to take firm action against the Maoists as there could be some more attacks in the state.

Centre also issued an advisory warning to state government to remain alert against attacks on trains, government installations and oil depots.

Some states including- Orissa, Bihar & Jharkhand- had already banned the organisation under UAPA, while others like Andhra Pradesh had banned it under state laws.

CPI-Maoist, which is the main Naxal group in the country, has been bracketed with 34 other organisations including LeT, ULFA and SIMI who are in the list of banned outfits.

Incidentally, today is also the second day of the bandh declared by Naxals in five states against the actions of the government in Lalgarh.


Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, June 23: Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday will chair a Cabinet meet convened to decide on whether to implement or not the Centre’s decision to ban CPI (Maoists).

Related Stories
Maoists torch CPI-M offices, shutdown hinders life in Bengal
Operation Lalgarh: 22 villages freed from MaoistsHowever, as per media reports, in view of the Maoist siege of the Lalgarh town and increased pressure from the Centre, the West Bengal government has reportedly decided to accept ban on the Maoists.

CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechuri has not ruled out a ban on the Maoists. However, he maintained that the problem needed a political solution.

“The ban is not for the state alone. It is for the whole country. The party is meeting today to decide on implementing a ban on Maoists,” he said.

Calling for a dual strategy to tackle the menace of Naxalism, Yechury said, “We have always maintained that the problem needs to be resolved politically. The Prime Minister said that Naxalism is a threat to the country and we all want to boost security.”

However, the state government is unlikely to prosecute the suspected Maoists under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The sources close to the state government have claimed that the suspected Maoists will be prosecuted only under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, some reports claimed that the Maoists are now ready for a conditional ceasefire if some of their demands are met.

A private TV news channel quoted Maoists spokesperson Gaur Chakraboraty as saying,” We will begin talks if our demands are met. If the government withdraws troops we will lay down arms.”

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.

The decision evoked sharp reactions from the West Bengal government, which said that it would ascertain if it was binding for it to rectify the decision and the ruling Left Front said it was useless to ban any organisation.

West Bengal Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty said legal experts are being consulted in this regard. "Only then can we inform you if the Centre's decision is binding on the state government," Chakraborty told reporters.

West Bengal's ruling Left Front also came out in the open and said it was against banning the CPI-Maoist and would counter such outfits politically.

The announcement came two days after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee stated that his government will give serious thought to proscribing the rebels.

On his part, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said, "Maoists must be combated politically and administratively."

Ban to avoid ambiguity: Chidambaram

Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here, yesterday, that the government had put the CPI(M) in the list of banned organisations. He also said that while the Left parties had objections to the decision, the West Bengal government was a separate entity.

Chidambaram said the Government decided on the fresh ban under the UAPA to avoid any ambiguity following the merger of CPI-ML (People's War Group) with the Marxist Coordination Committee.

"It was always a terror organisation and today an ambiguity has been removed that it is a terror organisation," he said.

“We hope the West Bengal government would ratify the decision we have taken,” he said outside his office here. Centre also warned the West Bengal government to take firm action against the Maoists as there could be some more attacks in the state.

Centre also issued an advisory warning to state government to remain alert against attacks on trains, government installations and oil depots.

Some states including- Orissa, Bihar & Jharkhand- had already banned the organisation under UAPA, while others like Andhra Pradesh had banned it under state laws.

CPI-Maoist, which is the main Naxal group in the country, has been bracketed with 34 other organisations including LeT, ULFA and SIMI who are in the list of banned outfits.

Incidentally, today is also the second day of the bandh declared by Naxals in five states against the actions of the government in Lalgarh.

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