Critics sore with Soren’s soft stand on Maoists
Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren’s bid to buy peace with Maoists in his state seems to have backfired so far. B Vijay Murty reports.india Updated: Jan 21, 2010 23:37 IST
Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren’s bid to buy peace with Maoists in his state seems to have backfired so far. But that isn’t stopping him from trying — even though his political rivals are unhappy with his soft approach towards the extremists.
Soren, who heads a coalition government, said at a forum on January 13 that he wanted to hold talks with the Maoists.
Two days later, the ultras blew up a police vehicle in Gumla district, killing seven policemen and a civilian.
Dominant in at least 18 of the state’s 24 districts, Jharkhand has in the past eight years witnessed more than 3,000 cases of Maoist-related violence, in which 340 policemen were killed.
“Jharkhand’s three crore people have the right to know the government’s next move against the Naxalites, who are continuing mindless violence,”said former state chief minister and JVM-P president Babublal Marandi, who lost a son to Maoist bullets last year.
Soren told reporters on Thursday that the yet-to-be-launched Operation Green Hunt against the Maoists is an initiative of the Centre and therefore, has no role in it.
“New Delhi will decide when and how to execute the operation,” he said in Ranchi on Thursday.