Police should take lead in anit-Maoist action: Congress

Kolkata, May 30 (IANS) Referring to the recent Maoist attack on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, party leader and union minister Jairam Ramesh Thursday called for Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand police to take primary responsibility in the fight against the rebels.

"Unless the police of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha come forward and take primary responsibility, we cannot be successful against the Maoists," the union rural development minister said here.

"The central security forces are there to give support but the primary responsibility of countering the Maoists rests with the state police," said Ramesh.

He said Andhra Pradesh has been successful against the Left wing ultras, because its police took primary responsibility.

Along with police action, Ramesh spelt out a four-pronged strategy with major emphasis on development, to counter the rebels.

"Along with armed action, focus should be to ensure development of tribals and ensuring they get justice and their rights are recognised. We must also ensure there is political activity in areas where the rebels have a stronghold," added Ramesh.

The Maoists May 25 ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in a heavily forested area in Chhattisgarh, killing 28 people. Among those killed were state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, party leader Mahendra Karma and former legislator Uday Mudliyar.

The injured included former union minister V.C. Shukla.

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