'Responsibility for Dantewada will be fixed'



`Responsibility for Dantewada will be fixed` New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday ruled out use of Army and Air Force in the Naxal affected areas but said government was examining whether a special force could be used to supplement the para military forces.

The Home Minister admitted that the Dantewada massacre was a failure of command and control, and said that the responsibility for the lapse will be fixed right up to his level.

The use of aircraft could be considered for surveillance, logistics and evacuation. "There is no proposal to use Army or Air Force against Naxals," he said.

Replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on the Dantewada incident in which 76 security personnel were killed early this month, Chidambaram said "surely action will be taken based on the report" (of the one-man committee going into what went wrong that led to the massacre).

He said the preliminary inquiry showed the incident was a result of "terrible failure of command and control" and added that he has asked the Ram Mohan panel to "fix responsibility" right from the Assistant Commandant up to the Union Home Minister.

The report is expected to come by April 25, he said.

After the Dantewada massacre there have been many view points related to use of the armed forces against the Naxals.

Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik too had said that he was not in favour of deployment of IAF for counter-Maoist operations as the armed forces were trained for lethal operations to kill the enemy and not to fight “our own citizens”.

Chidambaram said that owning moral responsibility, he had offered to resign but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had rejected it, reposing confidence in him.

"I am determined to continue providing leadership to the Home Ministry and the paramilitary forces. I am determined to provide assistance to states to fight the menace on Naxals," he said amid thumping of desks including by BJP members.

While he was willing to be "advised for course correction" on tackling Naxal issue, Chidambaram said the challenge has to be met squarely and "we have to fight the menace fearlessly".

Responding to Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley's remarks that the Home Minister did not have support from his own party members, he said "our party and UPA are totally united in the fight against Naxals. You will not succeed in trying to divide my party".

Jaitley was referring to Congress MP K Keshava Rao supporting senior party leader Digvijay Singh's disapproval of the handling of Naxal issue by Chidamabram.

The Home Minister insisted that his anti-naxal policy was in sync with AICC 2006 resolution which had said it had to be addressed as a serious law and order problem with an underlying socio-economic process.

Rao maintained that the Dantewada incident was just a symptom and there was a need to look at the disease (lack of development). He said that for the party, social order was important and law and order comes when social order was threatened. PTI