Defence Minister AK Antony on Wednesday urged Maoist guerrillas to abjure violence and said that involving armed forces in the "anti-naxal" operations would be as a last resort.
"What we are demanding is that they should abjure violence - whether in West Bengal or in other areas. In our view, deployment of armed forces for internal security is the last resort," Antony told reporters in New Delhi.
Agreeing that Maoist violence had grown into a "serious threat", Antony said it had to be tackled by the paramilitary forces and the police.
"I agree that Naxalism is a serious threat but it has to be mainly handled by paramilitary and police," the defence minister said.
Antony's remarks come a day after Maoists held a train hostage in West Bengal and released it after several hours.