Updated: January 15, 2015 2:22:05 am
Government chief whip P C George on Wednesday questioned the Kerala Police’s hunt for Maoists and suggested they should be countered “ ideologically”, evoking sharp reaction from the state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala who said the rebels should first be asked to lay down weapons.
George, a senior Kerala Congress(M) leader, in Thrissur said that it was unnecessary to spend crores of rupees to arrest around two dozen Maoists, likely hiding inside forests of north Kerala. He also questioned the state police’s claim that they had an encounter with a group of Naxals in Wayanad last month.
“The police should stop the ongoing hunt for Maoists. I could not agree with this unashamed attempt of the officials to pocket money under the guise of hunt for Maoists. They (Maoists) should not be targeted with weapons, instead they should be countered ideologically,’’ he said.
George said the Maoists in Kerala have been fighting for tribal rights. “Presence of the Maoists has energised the government machinery in tribal areas. Political parties should shun their negative approach towards the marginalised people,” he said. Reacting to the chief whip’s remark, Chennithala said George should have advised the Naxals first to lay down their weapons. “Those who attacked the police in Wayanad last month were Maoists,” he asserted.
The minister said the government knows that the Maoist menace could not be tackled with bullets alone, but “the police would stop the search operations only if the Maoists stop their activity”.
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