Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday expressed confidence that the situation in Naxal-hit West Midnapore district in West Bengal would be brought under control in three to four days.
Described Naxals as 'cowards', he said they were retreating into the thick forests even as security forces wrested control of areas dominated by them. The Naxals earlier ruled about 1,000 sq km, where no elected representative or the district magistrate or officials could enter, he said.
Chidambaram, who was addressing a meeting to thank voters for electing him in the Lok Sabha polls, said the West Bengal government had sought the help of the Centre, following which it rushed its forces to that state.
Condemning the hurling of a petrol bomb at a DMK organised meeting at Ilayankudi in Sivaganga district on Saturday night in which a party worker was injured, he said the incident took place while Hindu Religious Minister K R Periyakaruppan was addressing the meet.
"It is the act of cowards and wicked people. I condemn the incident as home minister and in my personal capacity. Those responsible for such incidents should be nabbed and severely punished."
He said there was no room for violence in a democracy and issues could be debated.