Saturday, March 06, 2010

Naxals could be getting help from ex-servicemen: Pillai

Express news service Posted online: Saturday , Mar 06, 2010 at 0321 hrs

New Delhi : In a first of its kind statement, the government on Friday suggested that Naxalite groups might be getting help from some ex-servicemen for training and planning of operations.

“The precision and the manner in which Naxalites carry out their operations and the way they carry out a post- mortem of their operations gives the impression that they might be getting support from some ex-servicemen,” Home Secretary G K Pillai said here.

“The references to words like targets and positions in their literature are typical of the language that is used in military vocabulary,”
he said, but told The Indian Express later that it was only a “surmise” and there was no evidence to show that any ex-servicemen were helping the Naxalite groups.

Speaking almost simultaneously at a different venue, a group of activists led by Arundhati Roy, slammed the government for initiating military action against the Naxalite groups and said it was aimed primarily at driving out tribals from the mineral-rich areas which they inhabit. Contending that 99 per cent of the Naxalites were helpless tribals, who have been completely neglected by the government so far, these activists said the military action was leading to a genocide-like situation with the government “engaged in a war against its own people”.

“There cannot be a military solution. The government must respond positively to the Maoists’ offer of talks,” Arundhati Roy said.

Meanwhile, PM Manmohan Singh reiterated his government’s offer of talk to Naxalites but only if they laid down their arms. “While we are determined to take firm action, we are ready to talk to any group that abjures violence unconditionally and agrees to abide by the due constitutional process,” he told Parliament .

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