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States hit by Maoism to take joint action, says Chidambaram

January 20, 2009 13:39 IST

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All the seven states hit by Left-wing extremism have agreed on a joint action to confront the menace firmly and decisively, and the Centre will support them with security forces and funds, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram [Images] said.

He said that all the affected seven state -- Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal -- had so far adopted different approaches; but what is needed is a joint plan where the principal focus is on confronting the extremists.

"Left-wing extremists have to be confronted squarely and boldly," Chidambaram said after his meeting with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior state government officials on Maoism on Monday evening.

"Broadly, the strategy of Chhattisgarh, it seems, is working as I am told that nearly 40 percent of the area has been regained from the Maoists, whereas confrontation with the extremists are going on in another 20 percent area. However, the extremists have got an upper hand in the remaining 40 per cent area," the home minister said.

He said chief ministers of all the seven states hit by Maoism have agreed on a joint action to deal with the problem and said it was a significant development.

"I will be visiting all these states, Chhattisgarh being the first where I have visited today," he added.

Fielding a question on the controversial Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh, Chidambaram said the Chhattisgarh chief minister had told him that it was a spontaneous movement of tribals and the third such movement since 1991.

To a question on Salwa Judum activists taking law into their hands, the union home minister said the Chhattisgarh government have assured him that all actions are being taken by security forces.

Chidambaram said his visit to Chhattisgarh was part of his commitment made to chief ministers of the naxal-affected states at a meeting in New Delhi [Images] in January 7.

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