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Centre declares Maoists as terrorists, CPM differs

Even as the Centre moved to ban CPI(Maoists), West Bengal govt said it would see if it was binding to rectify the decision.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, June 22: The red war is spreading to create splits between the Centre and state level politics. Even as the Centre moved to ban the CPI(Maoists), West Bengal government said it would ascertain if it was binding for it to rectify the decision and Left Front said it was useless to ban any organisation.
After a high level meeting here today against the
backdrop of security forces` operations in West Midnapore
district in West Bengal, the Union Home Ministry brought
the group in the list of terrorist outfits banned under the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

West Bengal Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty said legal
experts are being consulted in this regard. "Only then can we inform you if the Centre`s decision
is binding on the state government," Chakraborty told
reporters here.

However, West Bengal`s ruling Left Front said it was against banning the CPI-Maoist and would counter such outfits politically, two days after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee stated that his government will give serious thought to proscribing the rebels.

On his part, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said: "Maoists must be combated politically and administratively."
The notification declaring the Communist Party of India (Maoist) a terrorist organisation was issued by the Union Home Ministry under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. .

CPI’s Gurudas Das Gupta was the first to react, saying he disapproves of the ban.

Earlier, West Bengal Left Front chairman Biman Bose said today in Kolkata, “We have decided that such outfits, which follow misguided politics, cannot be countered by banning them. It is important to counter the activities of these outfits politically."

He said that the fight of the Leftists against the "misguided politics" of the Maoists was on. "We are opposing the terrorist activities of the Maoists and that is why we are attacked," he said in a statement.

Bose said it was a continuous political process to "alienate" people from the "dangerous politics" pursued by the Maoists. "This work has to be carried on," he said.

But, importantly state Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was seen to be not averse to a ban after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram asked the state government to enforce a ban in view of the ongoing violence in Largarh town.

Ban to avoid ambiguity: Chidambaram

Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here that the government had indeed put the CPI(M) in the list of banned organisations. He also said that while the Left parties had objections to the decision, the West Bengal government was a separate entity.

Chidambaram said the Government decided
on the fresh ban under the UAPA to avoid any ambiguity
following the merger of CPI-ML (People`s War Group) with the
Marxist Coordination Committee.

"It was always a terror organisation and today an
ambiguity has been removed that it is a terror organisation,"
he said.

“We hope the West Bengal government would ratify the decision we have taken,” he said outside his office here. Centre also warned the West Bengal government to take firm action against the Maoists as there could be some more attacks in the state.

Issuing an advisory, it warned the state to remain alert against attacks on trains, governmnet installations and oil depots.

He further informed that while some states- Orissa, Bihar & Jharkhand- had banned the organisation under UAPA, others like Andhra Pradesh had banned it under state laws.

CPI-Maoist, which is the main Naxal group in the country, has been bracketed with 34 other organisations including LeT, ULFA and SIMI who are in the list of banned outfits.

Incidentally, the Maoists are currently banned in many states like Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, that’s why the Centre’s decision is clearly meant to rein-in the extreme Left elements in West Bengal, where the government has been reluctant to ban the Maoists despite the siege of Lalgarh and adjoining areas in West Midnapore district.