Operation Green Hunt a media invention, says Chidambaram

Written by Political Bureau | Hyderabad | Updated: Nov 8 2009, 03:57am hrs
Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday denied that the Centre was launching an Operation Green Hunt to target Maoists and dismissed it as a creation of the media. He said the Centre was only providing assistance to the states wherever necessary and said the local police was responsible for maintaining law and order in their respective areas.

The operation Green Hunt or whatever is a pure invention of the media. State governments are carrying on counter-insurgency measures against the Naxalites wherever necessary. The Central government is providing assistance by way of central paramilitary forces, intelligence-sharing and technical help. The state government concerned should be able to tell you when the anti-insurgency measures being taken would be completed, he said.

To a query on Maoist leader Kishenjis statement that the Centre should declare a ceasefire before talks, Chidambaram said he has no information about the demands from the Maoists. I have not seen any such statement from the CPI (Maoist), he said, while speaking to mediapersons after reviewing the passing out parade of the 61st batch of the IPS at the National Police Academy here. He also dismissed reports about LTTE cadre training Maoists saying he saw them only in the media.

Chidambaram said India was now better prepared to meet challenges to its security, sovereignty and integrity. We are a growing economic power. But we have to maintain constant vigil. As a nation growing not only in numbers, but also in influence, growing as an economic power, a regional power, an Asian power, we can never afford to be slack, he said.

The Centre is constantly making efforts to build the capacity and competence of its security forces, and instill confidence among the citizens. We are adding capacity every day, every week and every month. I can say with confidence that India is better prepared to meet any challenge to its sovereignty, integrity and ensure security for all, he said.

Referring to security threats to high value targets in the city, he said the CISF strength at the Academy would be increased to secure it. The home minister commended the Academy for coming up with new training programmes for intelligence gathering, counter terrorism and guerrilla warfare.