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Maoists getting arms from Bangladesh, Myanmar: Chidambaram


Sep 13, 2009
NEW DELHI: Maoists are acquiring weapons through Bangladesh, Myanmar and possibly Nepal, according to home minister P Chidambaram, who
nonetheless has expressed government's willingness for a dialogue with them provided they abjure violence.

Naxalism remains the biggest internal security threat to India, he said and hit out at intellectuals who still try to "romanticise" the Naxalites.

In a wide-ranging interview, Chidambaram said the government is practical enough to understand that the Naxals would not lay down arms.

He said the West Bengal government has "learnt a lesson very late" after the Lalgarh operation but he would not comment much on the West Bengal government's decision to secure the release of an abducted police official by not opposing the bail application of about 20 pro-Maoist tribals.

"In terms of the threat to security from Indian sources or internal sources, Naxalism remains the biggest threat. There is, of course, the other threat which is cross border terrorism but that is emanating from across the border," he said.

"There is no evidence of any money flowing in from abroad to the Maoists. But there is certainly evidence of weapons being smuggled from abroad through Myanmar or Bangladesh which reach the Maoists."

Asked whether some weapons are coming through Nepal, he said "it is possible".

To a question whether there is any Pakistan angle to it, Chidambaram said they were not sure where the weapons are originating from.

"We know now that the weapons are coming through Bangladesh and Myanamr and possibly Nepal. The border is very porous. The Indo-Nepal border is a very porous border." He said police has not found any weapons with Pakistani marking.

The Maoists had looted "our own armouries" and they had said that the objective of the attack on the Sankhrail police station in West Bengal was weapons and money.

"Even after this statement, if people romanticise the Naxalites, all I can say that only God can help them," he said.

Asked if there are any groups from abroad backing the Maoists, the Minister said "I don't know. It is possible that they get some intellectual support. I hear voices of some human rights group from abroad which say that we have unleashed a war on the Maoists. That is the intellectual support I am referring to."

Asked if there is any evidence of external help to Maoists, Chidambaram said it may be at the level of intellectual or ideological level.

Queried about the Maoist leader Kishenji's statement that they would not surrender arms and that forces should be withdrawn from the entire Naxal-affected areas along with the release of the cadre and their supporters, he said "I am not going to respond to Kishenji."

Maoists getting arms from Bangladesh, Myanmar: Chidambaram - India - The Times of India

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