The West Bengal government has requested the Centre to immediately dispatch two battalions of paramilitary personnel (around 2,000 personnel) for anti-Naxal operations.
The request,it is learnt,was received by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs even before Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee issued a warning to the Naxals asking them to lay down their arms within seven days and terming them supari killers and jungle mafia. Sources said the state is gearing up to launch full-fledged operations against Maoists.
The Centre has been concerned about West Bengal not supporting or undertaking operations against the Naxals who,intelligence inputs suggest,were regrouping. Sometime ago,senior CRPF officials had told the Centre that unless action was taken,the situation could go out of hands.
The missive from the state comes within days of the MHA asking it to relieve one of the six battalions sitting idle there.
We welcome the Chief Ministers announcement as it reflects the state governments understanding of the prevailing situation in three Naxal-affected districts West Midnapore,Purulia and Bankura, a senior official said.
On Saturday,Mamata had said she was giving Maoists a seven-day ultimatum,observing that the Maoists did not pursue any ism,they have no ideals… We initiated the peace process. We will continue the negotiations but you have to lay down arms.
Mamatas recent run-in with Naxals began after suspected Maoists killed three persons,including two of her party workers,in West Midnapore recently.