Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Maoists' main target is Delhi, not Dantewada: Raman Singh

New Delhi, May 20 (UNI) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today said the main target of Maoists was not Dantewada but Delhi and so joint efforts were needed to fight the menace.

''The aim of the Maoists and Naxals is not Dantewada. They want to take over the country's economy and democracy by targetting the Centre,'' he said.

Dr Singh was speaking during a panel discussion on ''Maoists and Naxalism: Challenges and Solutions'', organised by Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) here.

Giving out facts, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister said it was very much visible that the Maoists, who were not less than terrorists, had been focusing on mostly those places or states in the country which were rich in resources.

''States full of mines of iron-ore, bauxite, coal, oil, among other resources, have always remained their main target. This proves that they want to conquer the country's economy,'' he said.

Giving a clarion call to the nation, Dr Singh said since it was the problem of the whole country, every citizen would have to stand together and fight the menace.

''At this stage, we will have to keep aside politics and stop thinking whether the thought-process of two bureaucrats matches,'' he said.

In reply to a question, if the state was planning to bring about any change in its strategy to fight Maoism, he said, ''Strategies are ought to change with time.''

Dr Singh also referred to certain issues regarding Maoism and called them ''myths''.

''I will like to clarify three myths that people in Delhi have been talking about. Firstly, Chhattisgarh government is not using any trading operation to bring in Multi-National Companies in Bastar. We have only been carrying out value addition works,'' he said.

''Secondly, it is a misconception that Naxalism is an outcome of social, cultural and economic differences only. There is no Zamindar, no rich, no poor, no particular caste in Bastar. In fact, the male to female ratio in the state is second best in the
country,'' he added.

The third issue raised by the Chief Minister was of development. ''Everybody says that Naxals and Maoists have been doing this in demand for their development. It is not whole truth. To cite an example, to construct a 22-km-road in 20 days, altogether 12 policemen had to lose their lives because the localities did not
want development,'' he said.

However, Dr Singh asserted that 98 per cent of the state's people want peace and non-violence and the state government has been taking all possible steps to curb the menace.

He noted that one of the biggest problem in the state was of less force. ''In addition, the country's force is not at all prepared for Guerrilla warfare either mentally or physically,'' he said.

In this regard, Dr Singh said the need was that every Indian state should have an institute or a training centre wherein the country's force could be trained for guerrilla warfare.

Before the discussion, a two-minute-silence was also observed remembering those who lost their lives in the recent Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh wherein Maoist guerrillas triggered a powerful landmine under a bus killing 31 people, many of them

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