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Saturday, October 24, 2009

[ALOCHONA] Maoists get arms from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal

Maoists get arms from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal: Chidambaram


Maoists are acquiring weapons through Bangladesh, Myanmar and possibly Nepal, according to the home minister, P Chidambaram, who nonetheless has expressed government's willingness for a dialogue with them provide they abjure violence.
   Naxalism remains the biggest internal security threat to India, he said and hit out at intellectuals who still try to 'romanticise' the naxalities.
   In a wide-ranging interview to PTI Saturday, Chidambaram said the government is practical enough to understand that the Naxals would not lay down arms.
   He said the West Bengal government has 'learnt a lesson very late' after the Lalgarh operation but he would not comment much on the West Bengal government's decision to secure the release of an abducted police official by not opposing the bail application of about 20 pro-Maoist trials.
   'In terms of the threat to security from Indian sources or internal sources, Naxalism remains the biggest threat. There is, of course, the other threat which is cross border terrorism but that is emanating from across the border,' he said.
   'There is no evidence of any money flowing in from abroad to the Maoists. But there is certainly evidence of weapons being smuggled from abroad through Myanmar or Bangladesh which reaches the Maoists.'
   Asked whether some weapons are coming through Nepal, he said 'it is possible.'
   To a question whether there is any Pakistan angle to it, Chidambaram said they were not sure where the weapons are originating from.
   'We know now that the weapons are coming through Bangladesh and Myanmar and possibly Nepal. The border is very porous. The Indo-Nepal border is a very porous border.' He said police has not found any weapons with Pakistani marking.
   The Maoists had looted 'our own armouries' and they had said that the objective of the attack on the Sankhrail police station in West Bengal was weapons and money.
   'Even after this statement, if people romanticise the naxalities, all I can say that only God can help them,' he said.
   Asked if there are any groups from abroad backing the Maoists, the minister said 'I don't know. It is possible that they get some intellectual support. I hear voices of some human rights group from abroad which say that we have unleashed a war on the Maoists. That is the intellectual support I am referring to.'
   Regarding any evidence of external help to Maoists, Chidambaram said it may be at the level of intellectual or ideological level.
   Queried about the Maoist leader Kishenji's statement that they would not surrender arms and that forces should be withdrawn from the entire naxal-affected areas along with the release of the cadre and their supporters, he said 'I am not going to respond to Kishenji.'
   Chidambaram said 'he (Kishenji) is the leader of an organisation declared as unlawful. Therefore, as one representing the government, I have no intention of responding to him.'
   To a question whether the government was working on an out-of-the-box solution to break the logjam with the Maoists to bring them to the negotiating table, Chidambaram said 'there is no jam. It is only those who romanticise left-wing extremism think that there is a jam.'
   'This is the land where Mahatma Gandhi won us freedom through non-violence. Can you have a greater oppressor than a colonial government,' he said.
   The minister said if the naxalities claim to have the majority of the people behind them what prevented them from contesting elections and implementing policies which they think are the right policies.
   'Be that as it may, the elected government today says you halt violence and come and talk to us about your grievances,' he said.
   Asked if he was inviting them to join the political mainstream, Chidambaram said 'they should. They should join the political mainstream if they want to work for the people.'


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