New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Parties must work together to ensure peaceful political activity in Maoists’ areas, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at an all-party meeting here Monday.
The prime minister, in his official Twitter post, said: “It would not be wrong to say that the Chhattisgarh attack is a frontal assault on the democratic foundations of our nation.”
He said: “The robustness of the democratic forces in our country would suffer if political activity gets restricted because of fear or terror.”
“The Chhattisgarh attack marks the first time that they (Maoists) targeted the top leadership of a political party,” he said at the meeting he called to finetune the government’s strategy to deal with the Maoist issue.
Noting that the state governments – especially the Chhattisgarh government – must work to ensure that conditions become more conducive to political activity in Maoist-affected areas, the prime minister said the centre was committed to supporting the states fully in this task.
The meeting was held against the background of the May 25 attack in which 30 people were killed, including Chhattisgarh Congress leaders like state unit chief Nand Kumar Patel and civilian militia ‘Salwa Judum’ founder Mahendra Karma.
Former union minister V.C. Shukla was seriously injured in the attack.
The “ideology of the Naxalites is well known… adoption of violent means with total disregard for human life. They have been resorting to inhuman attacks causing serious loss of lives to security personnel, political workers and innocent people”, said the prime minister.
Noting that there was an urgency to effectively deal with the Maoist menace, he said: “We must immediately ensure that the Naxalite violence is held in check and attacks like the one in Chhattisgarh do not recur.”
The government’s two-pronged strategy to deal with the challenge of Left wing extremism, sustained and proactive operations against Maoist extremists, and addressing development and governance issues, needed to be finetuned, he said.
“There is a need to further finetune and strengthen this strategy. We have started working in this direction. I reaffirm that our government will not be found wanting in this regard,” said the prime minister.