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     Raipur, September 25, 2009: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said that the armed fight against the Maoists may last longer than expected.

     “It is a long drawn fight,” Chidambaram told reporters here at the Chhattisgarh Secretariat after having meeting with the Governor, Chief Minister and his officials.

     On arrival in the morning, the Union Minister had a meeting with the Governor ESL Narasimhan at the Raj Bhawan on the Maoist issue and then proceeded to the state Secretariat to have a meeting with the top officials from the Centre and the state.

     It was decided previously not to raise any demand before the visiting Minister, but the Union Home Minister not only praised the Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh but also assured all assistance to “defeat the left wing extremism in the state,” said sources close to the Chief Minister.

     He also made a sort of history as he visited the bereaved family of V K Choubey, who was killed in a gun battle with Maoists in Madanwada, when posted as the Rajnandgaon District Superintendent of Police.

     Chidambaram, accompanied by the Chief Minister, had also visited the family of martyr Constable Sanjay Yadav and inquired whether his wife had got the full amount of pension and other benefits or not.

     Later talking to media, the Union Minister said he had come here to pay condolences to the policemen, who were killed in fight against the Maoists.

     The state Government had done a good job in providing immediate assistance to the affected families, he said.

     On the naxal front also, the Minister said the Centre would provide all assistance to the state government to contain the Left Wing Extremism.

     It was a good meeting with the Chief Minister and his officials, he concluded.

     In that meeting, besides CM and Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar, Chief Secretary P Joy Oommen, Principal Secretary Home N K Aswal, Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan, top officials from Intelligence Bureau, Union Home Ministry and CRPF were present.

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