New Delhi, Oct 12, 2009: The joint anti-Maoist operations by Central paramilitary forces and police in West Bengal will continue with the Centre deciding to keep 17 companies of its forces stationed in the state.
"My only demand was that the 17 companies (about 1,700 personnel) continue to remain stationed in the state and carry out the joint operations with the state police. The Home Minister (P Chidambaram) has accepted it," West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told reporters here.
The decision came after Bhattacharjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today and Home Minister P Chidambaram and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here yesterday. Bhattacharjee strongly recommended continuance of the joint operations in his state along with simultaneous action in Jharkhand, saying West Bengal Police would otherwise not be able to consolidate the gains made against Maoists in West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.
"Without simultaneous operations in Jharkhand, it will be difficult for the police to hold on to the gains," he said, adding that the security forces would soon start operations in areas bordering Jharkhand, where most of the Maoist infrastructure, training camps and strongholds are located. Bhattacharjee's meeting came days after the prime minister said talks could be held with the Left extremists only if they lay down arms. "This has been my consistent position too," he said.