Antony: No army troops to fight Maoists

Nov. 2, 2009 at 12:05 PM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said Monday that federal Army troops would not be deployed against Maoist rebels in Orissa and other states.

But, he warned, violence perpetrated by the separatists would be dealt with firmly, Press Trust of India reported.

"The army is the last resort in internal security measures and the government does not intend to use it against Maoist activities," he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, adding that it was mainly up to states such as Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to deal with law-and-order issues.

Antony indicated, however, India's central government is willing to help state police with paramilitary forces to deal with security problems caused by Maoists.

"No one including Maoists, will be allowed to take law into their own hands," PTI quoted Antony as saying.

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