New Delhi: The Union government on Monday banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, terming it a terrorist organization.
Home ministry officials said the decision was taken at a high-level meeting.
Target of attack: A woman walks past a CPM party office at Lalgarh. Jayanta Shaw / Reuters
However, West Bengal’s ruling Left Front said it was against banning the CPI (Maoist) and will counter such groups politically, days after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee stated that his government will give serious thought to proscribing the Maoists.
“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,” Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.
CPI-Maoist has been bracketed with 34 other organizations including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India that are in the list of banned groups.
Meanwhile, the home ministry also issued an alert to the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal, where Maoists have given the call for a strike.
Intelligence inputs have suggested that the “CPI (Maoist) may indulge in demonstrative acts of violence by targeting security forces and economic infrastructure such as trains, buses, railway and bus stations and other places where people are likely to gather in significant numbers,” the ministry said.
Ten Maoists have been arrested from different areas around Lalgarh in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district during a joint operation launched by the state police and central paramilitary forces, state chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty said.
State home secretary Ardhendu Sen said the villagers in the tribal-dominated area were now helping security forces.
Asked if the state government was ready for talks with the Maoists, Chakraborty said: “Let them (Maoists) first surrender arms, responding to our call. Until they do so, the question does not arise about talks”.