Monday, November 2, 2009

No Army against Maoists: A K Antony

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Defence minister A K Antony on Monday ruled out the use of Army against Maoists but said violence perpetrated by them would

be dealt with firmly.

"The army is the last resort in internal security measures and the government does not intend to use it against Maoist activities," he told reporters here.

He said law and order was mainly a state subject, but the Centre was prepared to extend any support, including providing paramilitary forces to deal with any internal security problem.

The role of defence forces was different and the Army would be the last resort in settling problems in states, he said.

Maoists have been operating in states like West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and their ideology of violence would be dealt with firmly, Antony said.

"No one including Maoists, will be allowed to take law into their own hands," Antony said.

On China's claims over Arunachal Pradesh, he said India had repeatedly stated that the North Eastern state was an integral part of the country. "Arunachal Pradesh is part of India, just like Kerala," he said.

To a question on the threat to Tamil Nadu fishermen along the Palk Straits, who often report attacks by Sri Lankan Navy, he said the Navy, Coast Guard and Tamil Nadu police were "alert on the issue."

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