West Bengal government is considering banning the CPI (Maoists) after the Centre's suggestion to the state government in this regard following the Naxal violence in Lalgarh.
"Home Minister Chidamabarm advised me to ban this organisation. We have to give it a serious thought," West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram. "We have started thinking what to do," he said.
Chidambaram had said on Friday that the state government should ban the Maoists. "We think they (Maoists) should be banned in West Bengal as in other states," he had said.
Bhattacharjee said the Home Minister assured him that if the state government required more forces, he would be ready to send them. The West Bengal government has already deployed about 1,300 personnel of CRPF and about 600 BSF men. The state police and the other security forces were working in tandem against the Naxals in Lalgarh, he said.
When asked whether a parallel government was being run by the Maoists in Lalgarh, the Chief Minister said "I have no answer on this."
At the same time, he alleged that "Trinamool Congress has strong links with the group of so-called People's Committee against Police Terror" active in Lalgarh. "The leader of the group Chhatradhar Mahato is very much a member of Trinamool Congress," he claimed.
Maintaining that out of 241 blocks in the state, 18 were "fully or partially disturbed", Bhattacharjee accused the Maoists of killing innocent citizens and engaging in extortion and many other crimes with the locals suffering heavily.
To questions on the situation in Lalgarh, he said "the first column of central paramilitary forces has already reached there" and added that the area police station was never taken over by the Maoists.
"We already have about a column or 100 policemen stationed there," the Chief Minister said.
Expressing happiness over the Centre's prompt response in sending paramilitary forces to the state, he said the Home Minister "assured me that if we want more forces, he is ready to send them."
Bhattacharjee said the state police and the central forces were carrying out a joint campaign against the Maoists.
"It will take some time to get rid of the Maoist menace and we will continue the campaign," he said.