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Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Call to ban leftist rebels

Calls to ban the People's War Group
By Jyotsna Singh in Delhi

Five Indian states facing insurgencies led by ultra-left groups have called for the ban of a powerful rebel organisation, the People's War Group.

The demand came at a high-level meeting of ministers and officials in the Indian capital, Delhi.

The growing concern over left-wing militancy in India was reflected by the high level turn-out at the meeting, which was chaired by Home Minister LK Advani.

Chief ministers of four of five states affected by the insurgents - Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh , Maharashtra, and Orissa took part - along with senior state officials.

Combined effort

Mr Advani told a press conference after the meeting that Delhi had agreed to consider a unanimous demand by all the states to ban the People's War Group.


LK Advani: Measures to check the violence
He said a joint operational centre would be set up to co-ordinate intelligence as well as operational efforts in the fight against ultra-left rebels.

Mr Advani said a sustained political awareness campaign would also be launched against the insurgents to expose what he described as the true colours of their movement.

'Surrender policy'

The chief ministers also made a demand for equipment to deal with landmines that are now being increasingly used by the rebels.

Mr Advani said the government would look into their demand.

He added that a "draft surrender policy" had been set up for "misguided young people who want to stop being militants".

The guidelines for the policy - which includes a rehabilitation programme - was still being worked out.

But he was not so forthcoming in fulfilling another major demand from the states, which was to provide more central security forces to deal with left-wing violence.

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08 Mar 00 | South Asia
State minister dies in mine blast
20 Feb 00 | South Asia
Police killed in India blast
16 Dec 99 | South Asia
State minister killed by rebels
10 Dec 99 | South Asia
Concession to Andhra Pradesh rebels
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