New Delhi: The Centre today said it has
information about the existence of several armed camps in West
Bengal and cadres of these camps roaming around with weapons
and hoped that the state government would take necessary
action to rein them in.
"I think generally it is agreed that there are some
camps in some parts of West Bengal and there are cadres on
these camps who carry arms," Home Minister P Chidambaram said
when asked about allegation of Marxist cadres operating camps
in the Left-ruled state.
The Trinamool Congress has recently alleged that there
were 59 armed camps in West Bengal being operated by the
Marxists, a charge vehemently denied by the CPI-M.
Addressing a press conference, the Home Minister said
law and order was a state subject and the Central government`s
duty was to bring into the notice of the West Bengal
government the issue and ask them to take appropriate action.
"I hope the government of West Bengal will look into the
matter of these armed camps in West Bengal," he said.
Asked whether there was any setback in the talks with
the Maoists, Chidambaram said there was never any progress in
the direction of talks and therefore there was no setback as
"I think the situation remains the same. Our offer
remains. It remains on the table. If the CPI (Maoist) abjure
violence, we are prepared to hold talks with them. But we have
not received any credible response to that offer," he said.
On whether dialogue would bring a solution to the issue,
the Home Minister said "I can`t say that the talks will
resolve the issue. But we can`t refuse talks on that
assumption. We have to talk and hope that talks will resolve
Asked whether the Court of Inquiry ordered to probe the
April 6 Dantewada incident, in which nearly 80 security
personnel were killed, had fixed the responsibility on the
dead people, Chidambaram said a second court of inquiry has
been ordered to fix individual responsibility.
"When that report comes we can take a final view. The
first court of inquiry identified the lapses, the second one
is underway to fix the individual responsibility. We will take
action on the basis of both the report. If all the lapses are
on the dead people, why would we appoint a second court of
inquiry to fix responsibility," he said.
On the demand of conducting investigation into the
killing of Maoist leader Azad, Chidambaram said as the Central
government could not order a probe into such an incident, he
had asked two delegations, that met him, to approach Andhra
Pradesh government with the request.