Maoists a terrorist group in India now
India on Monday declared Left extremist groups as terrorists and banned the Communist Party of India (Maoists) organisation which has been spearheading rebellion in almost 10 states, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Home Ministry sources said the decision was taken at a high-level meeting. CPI (Maoist), which is the main Naxal group organising tribes and downtrodden across 220 districts, has been bracketed with 34 other organisations including Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) and LTTE. Meanwhile, West Bengal's ruling Left Front said that it was against banning the CPI (Maoist). Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, "We have decided that such outfits, which follow misguided politics, cannot be countered by banning them. It is important to counter the activities of these outfits politically."

Addressing a news conference here, CPI-Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat said the naxalite groups already stand banned in the states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. "But has the situation improved there? Their situation is similar to that of West Bengal," Karat said. According to Karat, banning the organisation will also mean that the groups cannot hold meetings publicly.

Ridiculing Left party's demand to fight politically against these groups, Congress spokesman Shakil Ahmed said no government could stand as a mere spectator to the killings of innocent civilians and paramilitary forces. He exhorted all seven naxal-affected states to come out with a white paper on the current situation in their areas. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said on many occasions that naxalite problem was the biggest challenge to the nation. Separately, BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the centre could not wash off its hands by putting the Maoists on the banned list of organisation. "It is a national problem and needs to be tackled at the national way on the same lines on which the government constituted the federal agency to handle the menace of terrorism," he said.

Meanwhile, security forces conducting the operation to liberate Lalgarh region in West Bengal are reported to have cleared 22 of 42 villages, as Maoist rebels imposed a two-day general strike in five states. Officials said the troops had cleared the national highway connecting the district headquarters with Lalgarh. Sources said the Left extremists or Naxalites have virtually taken control of Malkangiri district and some pockets of Koraput in eastern state of Orissa.
Posted by: Fred 2009-06-23