Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren on Wednesday assured Home Minister P. Chidambaram that the state and the Centre were on the same page on anti-Naxal operations and asked for more central forces to fight the rebels.
The meeting came in the backdrop of the Maoists proposing a 72-day truce with security forces beginning Thursday. But there was no forward movement on the peace overture.
The home ministry and the Maoists had put their contact numbers in public domain to enable the other to contact them. Home ministry officials suggested they weren’t going to call the Maoists before getting an assurance that they will abjure violence.
The ministry’s fax number that was provided by Chidambaram to receive the Maoist statement, on the other hand, has been flooded with complaints and representations from people, hoping to get the home minister’s personal attention. “I think the same will happen with the Maoists mobile number too,” said a ministry official.
But as the Maoists bide time, the home minister held the meeting with the Jharkhand CM to intensify the operations.
Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahto and police chief N. Ahmed, Soren later told reporters that the state police was acting against the Naxals to the “best of our abilities”.
Soren had earlier skipped Chidambaram’s Kolkata meeting on the Naxal issue on February 9.