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Air Force may be used against Maoists: Chidambaram

 

P Chidambaram

Jagdalpur, April 7, 2010: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said today the Government had no intention to deploy army in the wake of a Maoist massacre of 76 police in Dantewada, but that the use of the air force might be reviewed.

"There is no proposal to use the army," Chidambaram told reporters here after attending a memorial ceremony for those killed in yesterday ambush in Tadmetla.

"At present there is no mandate to use the air force or any aircraft, but if necessary we will have to revisit the mandate and make some changes," he added.

The government has repeatedly rejected suggestions that the Maoists can only be defeated militarily.

Earlier, Chidambaram arrived at Raipur this morning and along with Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh he flew to Jagdalpur to pay homage to the martyrs in a function.

Besides Chidambaram, Director General of Central Para Military Forces Vikram Srivastav, Joint Secretary (Home) Dr Kashmir Singh and a host of other officials are also in Chhattisgarh to review the situation after the Maoist rebels encircled and killed 76 security personnel at Tadmetla forest of Dantewada district, about 600 km south of capital Raipur.

The incident had created resentment among the locals of Bastar region, in which the district of Dantewada also falls and various organizations today called for a day long shut down (Bandh) in Bastar region and police officials of the areas said the protest call has evoked a good response in Dantewada and Bastar districts.

The Union Home Minister would likely to chair a meeting to review the situation, police officials also said.


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