Antony rules out sending armed forces to Lalgarh
Defence Minister A K Antony ruled out the possibility of sending armed forces to fight Maoists in the wake of violence in Lalgarh. He said the armed forces can give only logistic support to the state police and paramilitary forces, who were already engaged in tackling the Naxals menace. See Graphics |Listen to Podcastindia Updated: Jun 19, 2009 19:50 IST
Defence Minister A K Antony on Friday ruled out the possibility of sending armed forces to fight Maoists in the wake of violence in Lalgarh area in West Bengal.
Antony told reporters in New Delhi that the armed forces can give only logistic support to the state police and paramilitary forces, who were already engaged in tackling the Naxals menace.
"Armed forces can give only logistic support. There is no idea to directly involve armed forces to fight Maoists," Antony said on the sideline of an Army function in New Delhi.
Describing the Maoist violence as a matter of 'serious concern to the entire nation,' Antony said, "I feel the state police and paramilitary forces will be able to meet the challenge. They have to."
Regarding the Taliban menace in Pakistan, Antony said they were a threat not only to the neighbouring country, but also to world peace.
Mentioning about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's strong message to Pakistan recently, the defence minister said India expected the western neighbour to take "strong action" against Taliban.
Regarding the Defence Ministry 'diktat' to its commanders not to speak out of turn on China, which has opposed Asian Development Bank funds for development projects in Arunachal Pradesh, he said: "Border dispute with China is not a new thing. It is a long-pending thing. But, there are mechanisms to take forward the peace process and I hope the negotiations will resume soon."
Antony reiterated his ministry's stand against corruption in defence deals and warned that "strong action" will be taken whenever some wrongdoing was found and whoever was involved would be booked.
On the spate of IAF aircraft crashes, the defence minister said it was a serious issue and that he had asked the IAF to look into it and take corrective steps.