Naxals have total disregard for human life: PM Manmohan Singh
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said that ideology of Naxalites is well know--adoption of violent means with a total disregard for human life, while addressing an all party meet here to discuss ways to tackle Naxal menace in the backdrop of killing of Congress leaders in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh last month.
During the meet, a unanimous resolution was passed by the political parties favouring the use of all legitimate means to "quell" armed insurgency, underlining that they cannot accept the "pernicious Maoist doctrine" against violence and armed insurgency in Left-wing extremism affected areas.
Ruling out any compromise on the issue, the parties in a unanimous resolution backed the Centre`s two-pronged strategy of sustained operations against Maoists and rapid development of Naxal-affected areas.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who was also present in the meet said, “We are considering strong action against naxals; all parties have asked us to take strictest action.”
While addressing the meet PM further said, “We must ensure that Naxalite violence is held in check and attacks like the one in Chhattisgarh do not recur.”
Terming it as a frontal attack on democratic foundations of the nation, Singh said, "The strength and robustness of the democratic forces in our country would suffer if the space for political activity gets restricted because of fear or terror."
He said the Chhattisgarh attack marked for the first time that Naxals have targeted top leadership of a political party in a "systematic" manner.
The political parties resolved that nothing could be more dangerous than the insurgency of the CPI(Maoist) in pursuit of its misguided goal of overthrowing Parliamentary democracy and the Constitution of India through violent means.
The meeting decided that the states would lead the fight against Maoists and the Centre assured all assistance in this regard.
"We urge them (Centre and the states) to use all legitimate means to defend the security of the country and its institutions and quell armed insurgency and violence," the resolution said.
The meeting was attended by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Leaders of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, BSP chief Mayawati, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav among others.
The political parties said the May 25 incident was a pre-meditated attack on political workers with the intent to intimidate and overawe all political workers in that region and to thwart the political mobilisation of the people.
"It was an attack on democracy, freedom, and free speech and expression. Nothing can be more dangerous to our Republic than the insurgency of the CPI(Maoist) in pursuit of its misguided goal of overthrowing Parliamentary democracy and the Constitution of India through violent means. The Indian State cannot, and will not, accept the pernicious Maoist doctrine," the resolution said.
The Home Minister said the Centre was contemplating "very strong action" against Naxals as per the directions of leaders of political parties who attended the meeting convened by the Prime Minister.
Political parties also urged state governments to draw upon their own resources as well as those provided by the Centre to re-establish the rule of law and accelerate development activities in the affected states.
"We resolve that we shall remain united and we shall speak in one voice and act with a sense of unified purpose and will," they said.
Shinde said never before such a strong resolution was adopted by political parties on the Naxal issue and they have asked the government to take "strictest possible action."
The Home Minister remained non-committal when asked if the government would use the military against the Naxals.
"I will not say anything on taking military assistance but we are contemplating very strict action. When such attacks take place it is our duty to protect democracy," Shinde said.
Political parties also appealed to the youth in Naxal-hit states to abjure violence and pursue their goals through legitimate and democratic means.
"We assure them that the Government will be sensitive to their concerns and redress any sense of alienation and the injustices of the past. We will make every effort to accelerate development, social inclusion and economic empowerment," the resolution said.
The Prime Minister said the state governments, especially the Chhattisgarh government, must work to ensure that conditions become more conducive to political activity in Naxalite affected areas.
"The Central government is committed to supporting the states fully in this task," Singh said.
Stressing that there was urgency to effectively deal with the Naxalite menace, he said, "Even as we take all measures that are needed to permanently root out this menace, we must immediately ensure that Naxalite violence is held in check and attacks like the one in Chhattisgarh do not recur."
Singh assured political parties that the Centre would not be found wanting to address the Naxal menace.
JD-U President Sharad Yadav suggested that the government should call a conference of democratic organisations working in tribal areas and solicit their views on the local problems and their redressal.
He also urged the government to consult MPs and MLAs of all parties hailing from the Naxal-affected region.
BSP chief Mayawati told reporters after the meeting that the nobody becomes a Naxal happily and hence there is a need to address the root causes of the problem. "There is need to understand why people become Naxals. Tribals have been pushed out of the forests and have not been given employment. There is a need to connect the area with the mainstream of development," she said.
Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, who represented BJP in the meeting, did not speak to reporters.
With PTI inputs
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