Desperate Maoists intensify action in Naxal-hit states

     The violence that has erupted in states in eastern India is being interpreted as a desperate attempt by the Maoists to bend the Central and State administrations to release their arrested leaders. Today, they have blown up a railway track near the Urma Railway station in West Bengal, even as a nation-wide shutdown has been called. People of the area fear there will be more such incidents in the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand during the ongoing nation-wide shutdown. The strong statements issued by Union Home Minister P. Chidamabaram and the support it has received from the state governments, has left the Naxalites fearing the possibility of a reduction in cadre intake. Thursday night's violence in Khagaria in Bihar where they have tried to exploit the discontent among the Dalit Kurmis is seen as an effort to appeal to all tribals in the region. In Khagaria , the Maoists tied the hands of the victims and did not spare even women and children. The recent statement by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, that he has made a request to the defence ministry to give the air force permission to retaliate against the Maoists, has upset Naxal leaders. The Maoist second-in command Koteshwar Rao, who is also known as Kishanji, has reacted to the air chief's statement. He claims that the Naxals fired at the helicopters in Chhattisgarh region in self-defence. Even though the copters had not fired at them. Kishanji described the Maoists as "Patriots". In a recent statement, Chidambaram stated that the priority of the UPA Government is to establish law and order in the Naxal-hit areas. He said that a firm action against the Maoists would help in promoting development, healthcare and education in the areas affected by insurgent violence. Efforts are being made by the Central and State Governments to tell the people that the Naxals are not facilitating development, but indulging in extortion to help themselves.

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