Saturday, August 15, 2009

Operations to continue in Lalgarh: Bengal Home Secretary

Posted: Thursday , Aug 13, 2009 at 1854 hrs

A week after admitting that the anti-Maoist operations by joint forces at Lalgarh were a failure, the West Bengal government on Thursday said the personnel would not be pulled back and the next phase to flush out the Naxalites would begin soon.



"The next phase of the operation will start very soon and will be done maintaining public relations with the people," Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters here.



"There is no possibility of calling off the operations unless the entire area is free from Maoists," he said after a high-level meeting with police and district officials here.



Asked whether there a possibility of withdrawal of central forces from Lalgarh, Sen said "at present there is no possibility. They will stay in Lalgarh at least till September when the situation will be reviewed again." He said so far 67 people had been arrested, 23 of whom were hardcore Maoists.



A week ago, Sen had said that the joint operations, launched on June 19, were a failure after the first phase as no major arrest could be made or killings stopped.

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