West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday described the swap of women arrested on charges of being Maoist sympathisers with an abducted police officer as an "exceptional decision taken on humanitarian grounds".
"This was an exceptional decision," the chief minister said in New Delhi, adding "but we have not surrendered to the Maoists".
"We have to be careful in future in dealing with the Maoists to see that such a situation does not arise again," he said.
He said he had met Home Minister P Chidambaram and been assured of all help in tackling the Maoist menace in the state's Lalgarh region.
He was replying to reporters' queries on the swap with Maoists to free abducted police officer Atindranath Dutta.
Dutta was freed on Thursday evening, almost three days after he was abducted by the leftwing ultras, after 14 tribal women who had been in jail for about one-and-a-half months on charges of Maoist activities were bailed out. This was one of the conditions laid down by the rebels.
Maoists released Dutta in full media glare and with a poster on his dress describing him as a Prisoner of War.