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PM Rules Out Use Of Armed Forces Against Naxals

Refusing to bracket Naxals with terrorists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday ruled out use of armed forces against them and said that the government is willing to hold talks with them if they abjured

PTI [ Updated: October 11, 2009 9:25 IST ]
pm rules out use of armed forces against naxals
pm rules out use of armed forces against naxals

Refusing to bracket Naxals with terrorists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday ruled out use of armed forces against them and said that the government is willing to hold talks with them if they abjured violence.

"They (Naxals) are banned organisations and are covered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," he said replying to a question if the government proposed to declare the ultra-left groups as terror outfits.

"We are not in favour of using the armed forces against the Naxalites. The para-military forces and police are adequate (for counter-Naxal operations)," he told a press meet here and underscored the need for looking at the causes of alienation of the people, particularly the tribals.

While terming Naxalism as the biggest internal security threat, the Prime Minister said dialogue with them was possible only if they shunned violence.

"Why the Naxalites alone, the government is prepared to have a dialogue with even the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir if they abjure violence," he said. 

Voicing concern over yesterday's audacious Taliban assault on Pakistan Military's General Headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the Prime Minister said, "People and government of Pakistan should realise the great harm and (their) patronisation of terrorist groups have done to the South Asian region.

"The situation in our neighbourhood -- in Pakistan and Afghanistan is not as it should be. Rising role of terrorist groups is a matter of concern for us," he said.

Singh refused to be drawn into any controversy over CBI's decision seeking closure of the case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Bofors gun deal.

"It is not proper for me to comment on CBI petition for closure of the case as it is sub-judice, but we acted on legal advice from Attorney General, Solicitor General (which was) endorsed by the Law Minister," he said.

Maintaining that the worst of price rise was over, the Prime Minister ruled out announcement of any fresh farm loan waiver and hoped that the Rabi crop would be normal.

He also described as "improper" the Maharashtra-for-Marathi campaign by MNS leader Raj Thackeray, saying, "I feel sorry. I am confident the people of Maharashtra will give him a befitting reply."

Manmohan Singh rejected as "false accusations" Pakistan's charges that India was fomenting trouble in Balochistan and said the country is not in the business of exporting terror. 

"This is entirely wrong. We are not in the business of spreading terror in Pakistan or in any other country. We are not in that business. And the Government of Pakistan and the people will jolly well know that their accusations are false accusations," Singh told a press conference in Mumbai.

He was replying to a specific question on Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik's allegations that India was arming militants in Balochistan.

Singh also refused to bracket Naxals with terrorists and ruled out use of armed forces against them. 

He said the government is willing to hold talks with the Maoists if they abjured violence. 

"They (Naxals) are banned organisations and are covered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," he said replying to a question if the government proposed to declare the ultra-left groups as terror outfits. 

"We are not in favour of using the armed forces against the Naxalites. We have adequate number of other forces like para-military forces and police (for counter-Naxal operations)," he said, while underscoring the need for looking at the causes of alienation of the people, particularly the tribals. PTI

 

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