A day after Naxalite extremists beheaded an intelligence officer in Jharkhand, Home Minister P Chidambaram said security forces would engage the Maoists till they gave up violence.
“As long as they (the Naxals) don’t abjure violence, security forces will confront them. Violence is simply unacceptable in a democracy,” Chidambaram said in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Commenting on the security situation in the nation, Chidambaram said fresh violence in Naxal-infested areas would not affect the assembly elections. “The Naxal attacks at Ghadchiroli or anywhere else will not dampen the elections,” he said.
Development to fight Naxalism: Rahul
Also on Wednesday, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, on a trip to Kerala, said the Naxalite menace was an offshoot of underdevelopment.
“These states (Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand) need to get development to the people. No one would join Naxalites if people were involved in development activities,” he said.
Gandhi said the only difference between the rich and the poor was one of opportunities. “I don’t consider whether a person is a Dalit or not. I approach him as a human being,” he said when asked about his new-found love for Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.