Fight against Maoists to be long drawn, says Chidambaram


Raipur : Home Minister P. Chidambaram Friday said the central government would extend all support to states to counter and defeat left-wing extremism in what would be a “long-drawn” fight. He also visited the homes of a senior police officer and a constable killed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh and assured their family members that the government would help them in every way.

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“It is a long drawn fight against Naxals (Maoists). The centre is totally supporting Chhattisgarh in its efforts to counter left wing extremism,” he told reporters at the state secretariat where he reviewed the state’s internal security situation in the wake of police and para-military forces mounting an onslaught against the Maoist rebels.

Chidambaram, who refused to take any questions, said his visit to Chhattisgarh was to assure the centre’s support in the state’s fight against the Naxalites and to offer his condolences for the policemen who had laid down their lives while fighting the rebels.

Referring to the July 12 incident in which 29 police personnel, including Superintendent of Police V.K. Choubey, were killed in an Maoist ambush at Madanwara in Rajnandgaon district, he said the state government had taken prompt action to provide relief to the families of the killed security personnel.

Meanwhile, official sources said the government of Chhattisgarh – India’s worst Maoist hit state – had sought more forces and resources from the centre so that simultaneous operations could be carried out in the state’s sprawling, mineral-rich Bastar region where the rebels hold sway since the late 1980s.

Chidambaram made an unscheduled visit with Chief Minister Raman Singh to the homes here of two policemen killed by Maoists – Choubey and constable Sanjay Yadav.

Chidambaram, who landed at Mana airport in state capital Raipur around 8 a.m., drove straight to Raj Bhavan and met Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and the chief minister.

After a brief meeting, he drove first to Choubey’s home and met Ranjana Choubey, widow of the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, and other family members, then he travelled to Tikrapara area and met Lalita Yadav, widow of Sanjay Yadav. After a few hours stay in Chhattisgarh, Chidambaram left for Ranchi by a BSF plane.

“It’s a great feeling that (the) union home minister consoled us. He basically told me that the government is entirely with you,” Ranjana Choubey told reporters outside her residence.