The home ministry said the CPI (Maoist), which is leading the unrest in the Lalgarh area of West Bengal, would be the 35th entry on the list of terrorist organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The CPI (Maoist) was already being considered a banned organisation as it was formed from the merger of two other banned organisations, the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). The list of terrorist organisations in the home ministry clearly mentioned that all the different formations and front organisations of MCC and CPI (ML) would be considered a part of the list of banned organisations.
Mondays decision, however, stemmed from a realisation that the list must be made as unambiguous as possible.
The Centre has been asking the West Bengal government to declare the CPI (Maoist) as an unlawful organisation. West Bengal is the only Naxal-affected state not to have done so.
However, it was pointed out that the Centres own list of terrorist organisations was ambiguous on the CPI (Maoist) since it was not explicitly mentioned on the list.
All that we have done today is to avoid ambiguity. We have added the words of CPI (Maoist) in the schedule of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. It was always a terror organisation and today an ambiguity has been removed, home minister P Chidambaram told reporters.
Top leaders of the CPI(M) criticised the move. Party general secretary Prakash Karat said banning the Maoists wont serve any purpose. They will function under some other name, he said, adding that the partys line was that Maoists needed to be fought politically and administratively.