The union home ministry on Tuesday denied that its official had said that the Chinese government was supplying arms to Indian Maoists and clarified that he meant the weapons were being supplied by smugglers from that country.
Union Home Secretary G K Pillai was "not quoted correctly", a press statement from the ministry said.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Sunday, Pillai had said "Chinese are large suppliers of small arms and I am sure the Maoists get it from them", without elaborating whether the rebels were getting arms from Chinese smugglers or official agencies.
"In this connection, it is clarified that the secretary while speaking to newsmen here last Sunday simply conveyed that small arms made in China had been illegally brought by arms smugglers to India and supplied to Maoist groups.
"This observation was based on facts. At no point did the secretary say that the Chinese government was involved in the supply of arms to Maoists," the statement said.