Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said Naxalism cannot be bracketed with terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and insurgency in the northeast and suggested that Maoists needed to be treated differently.
Chidambaram also said that Naxals should shun the path of violence and come forward for talks with the government.
The minister is understood to have made these remarks at the Army Commanders conference, which got underway today.
According to officials who attended the meeting, Chidambaram said that while northeast insurgents and terrorists in J and K were demanding secession from India, Naxals were different because they did not have this design.
The Centre meanwhile termed as "despicable act" the attempts by naxal groups to recruit children to carry out armed actions against security personnel. The Centre also said it was committed to control the diabolical activities of left-wing extremists.
"Intelligence inputs have indicated forced recruitment of children by naxals in south Chhattisgarh. Naxalities are also exhorting the villagers to provide five boys or girls per village for recruitment in their armed squad," an offficial spokesman said in a release.
"The Government condemns this despicable act on the part of naxals and reiterates its commitment to control the diabolical activities of naxals," he said.
The Centre is currently firming up plans to counter the Naxal problem, which has affected 20 states.