Sunday, November 22, 2009

Your friends are terrorists: MHA to Naxal sympathisers

21 Nov 2009, 0306 hrs IST, ET Bureau



NEW DELHI: With Maoists showing no signs of giving up their violent ways — the latest being the forced derailment of a passenger train in Jharkhand on Thursday, that left two dead and 40 injured — the Centre on Friday likened the Naxalites to terrorists and told their sympathisers in the civil society to get them to mend their ways.

The appeal was particularly in view of the poll boycott called by the CPI(Maoist) in Jharkhand, where polling gets underway on November 25.

“The CPI(Maoist) seems determined to carry out the threat to disrupt the elections and continues to kill innocent people....civil society organisations should also play their part and condemn the wanton acts of violence and ask the CPI(Maoist) not to disrupt elections which constitute the foundation of a democracy,” the MHA said in a statement on Friday.

This was a clear message to the bleeding heart liberals that it was time they directed their anger and contempt towards the Maoists and not the law enforcers.

While appealing to the Jharkhand electorate not to get cowed down by the boycott call given by the Maoists, the Home Ministry noted: “Nothing can be more destructive to democracy and the rule of law than attempts by a banned organisation to disrupt elections through premeditated acts of violence.”
Also drawing attention to the continuing graph of Maoist violence, especially the attacks on public infrastructure including railways and communication towers, the MHA recalled the blasting of a school in Ekauna in Chatra district of Jharkhand on November 6, IED attacks on two schools in Latehar district on November 10 as well as the blowing up of an under-construction panchayat office building in West Singhbhum district on November 15.

Only on Thursday, eight bogies of the Tata-Bilaspur passenger train derailed after Maoists blew up railway tracks in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.

Coming down heavily on the repeated Maoist onslaughts on public property and infrastructure, Union Home Secretary GK Pillai on Friday said that there was no difference between terrorists and Maoists. “They are making railway stations, trains, mobile towers and schools soft targets...they also held up a train in West Bengal...I have no sympathy for them,” he told reporters in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.

Stating that coordinated operations by different states with help from the Centre could be beneficial for fighting Maoists, he however clarified that the government’s strategy was essentially to restore civil administration in the areas currently under domination of the Maoists.

As per the strategy drawn up for the upcoming operations in Naxal strongholds across Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Maharashtra, the forces would assist initiation of development in the hitherto unadministered areas that serve as a safe haven for the Naxalites.

Any resistance by the Maoists to the setting up of development works in such areas will be met firmly by the forces. The Centre and the state concerned perceive this operation as a long haul, with estimates indicating that it may take anything between two to five years to clear the Naxalites, hold the areas and finally, push in development

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