New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has criticised the Centre's battle plan against the Maoists, saying a crackdown is turning the rebels into heroes before the people.
“Naxal elements are a part of our society even though they have been misled into following the path of violence. Enforcement action alone leads to wider alienation, making heroes out of the leaders of the extremist organizations,” said Kumar after a meeting of Maoist-affected states chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.
Kumar also accused the Centre of not helping his state in fighting the rebels. "Bihar has not received the requisite support from Central Government. There has been no change in the number of Central paramilitary companies deployed in Bihar over the last several years,” he said.
“In fact, after the last meeting on October 8, 2009, though the number of Central paramilitary forces deployed in other Naxal-affected states were increased, Bihar did not receive a single additional company," he claimed.
Kumar's statement on the Maoists is in sharp contrast to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s comments.
According to Chidambaram, as long as the "principal left wing extremist organisation was not challenged effectively, it expanded its area of activity, recruited more cadres, kidnapped more persons, extorted more money, acquired or looted more weapons, asserted its dominance in more areas, and targeted the security forces as well as civilians".
Addressing a meeting of chief ministers of Maoist-affected states chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram said the CPI-Maoist, on an average, had killed 500 civilians every year between 2004 and 2008.
"In 2009, 591 civilians were killed, of which 211 were named as police informers. This trend has continued in the first half of 2010 too, with 325 civilians killed, of which 142 were named as police informers," he said.
Chidambaram said that Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal should coordinate their anti-Maoist operations and form a Unified Command with a retired major general of the Indian Army as its member.