Throwing his weight behind West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Union home minister P. Chidambaram claimed that Maoist violence had gone down significantly in the state and the new chief minister should be allowed to “assess the situation and take a position”.
“As long as there is no violence, I think we should allow the new government to assess the situation and take a position,” Mr Chidambaram said at a press conference, responding to questions on anti-Naxalite operations slowing after the Trinamul Congress came to power.
The minister also said there are “suggestions that some kind of (peace) talks can take place” with Maoists in the state.
Asked who would hold the talks, he said “these are suggestions in the air”.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s order this week to disarm special police officers in Chhattisgarh, he said he would soon discuss the matter with chief ministers of various states where locals have been engaged in fighting Maoists, insurgency or militancy. The court had termed the setting up of vigilante groups like salwa judum as “unconstitutional”.
Mr Chidambaram said SPOs were engaged in battling insurgency elsewhere too, such as in the Northeast.
“I will have to discuss it with the chief ministers concerned to see what impact it will have on anti-Maoist operations,” Mr Chidambaram said. Asian Age