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Chhattisgarh CM hints at Naxal link with Lashkar
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 19
Describing Naxals as “biggest terrorists”, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today hinted at some connection between Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Maoists.

Speaking to mediapersons here today he said: “The improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that the Naxals are using are used by very advanced experts. Besides, there are reports that they have international linkages. Therefore, such a possibility cannot be ruled out.”

The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, who was here to attend the Planning Commission meeting, is likely to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram during his two-day stay here.

Raman Singh, whose state has been in the news of late for Maoists’ strikes on security forces in the tribal forests of Dantewada, suggested a review of the strategy to tackle the Maoists. “Since they have changed their tactics from guerrilla warfare to mobile action, I feel the government should also change its strategy to tackle the Naxals,” he said.

The chief minister also cleared the controversy on the final responsibility for security operations in his state. When asked who takes the decision in these matters, he said: “The SP or IG of the area. As the CM I have the overall command.”

He also attributed the current spurt in Maoist violence to the success of the frontal operations of the security forces and sought helicopters for logistical support to the ground forces, but clarified that these could not and would not be used as air power to combat the Naxals. “Bombing a village is not possible. You have the tribals staying there.”

He also stated that the Naxals had killed more than 1,000 civilians and more than 650 cops besides blowing up 132 electric towers, 106 school buildings and three hospitals in the state in the last 10 years.

Raman Singh denied that area domination operations of the CRPF was aimed at helping out multinational companies to mine freely in the Bastar region.





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