New Delhi: Union minister Jairam Ramesh will visit Jharkhand later this week, ignoring a purported threat issued against him by Maoists.
The rebels belong to a group called Sangarsh Jan Mukti Morcha (SJMM) had reportedly telephoned Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) President Sukhdeo Bhagat and asked him to tell the Rural Development Minister not to visit trouble-hit areas in the state.
Ramesh is a frequent visitor to disturbed tribal areas in Jharkhand where development programmes are being implemented by the Rural Development Ministry.
SJMM, which is responsible for killings and abduction in Latehar and adjoining districts, is run by former Maoists.
Sources in the Rural Development Ministry said Ramesh will visit in Jharkhand on July 20 attend the convocation ceremony in the Kolhan University in Chaibasa.
Asked about the Maoist threat, the Minister said, "Even if it is threat, you have to work."
The purported threat comes after the recent killing of Congress leaders by Maoists in Chhattisgarh.
After the massacre, Ramesh had described the Maoists as terrorists.
The Maoists had later issued a statement in which they criticised Ramesh for his "theory" that the "tribals are being crushed between the armed forces on the one side and the Maoists on the other".