Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 15:43 UK

India prepares for Maoist assault

Maoist rebels on patrol in Andhra Pradesh (2005)
The rebels are fighting for communist rule in several Indian states.

The Indian Home Minister, P Chidambaram, says the government will extend "every support" to states battling left-wing Maoist extremism.

Mr Chidambaram was assessing state security in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand as the government prepares for what it says will be an all-out assault.

About 20,000 troops are being sent to the two states to join 35,000 already stationed there ahead of the offensive.

The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of the poor.

They operate in a large swathe of territory across central and eastern India.

More than 6,000 people have been killed during their 20-year fight for a communist state.

"The centre is committed to fight Naxalism [Maoism]," Mr Chidambaram said. "We will provide all possible help to... eradicate the left-wing extremists completely," he told reporters here.

The home minister hailed the Chhattisgarh government's efforts to fight Maoists and said all steps to provide "succour to kin of security men killed in the fight against Naxalism" have been taken.

Correspondents say any offensive is not expected to be launched before October.

On Friday Mr Chidambaram met Chhattisgarh Governor ESL Narsimhan to discuss the Maoist threat.

Last week a fierce gun battle between Maoists and the security forces took place in Chhattisgarh. At least seven Maoists were killed and one paramilitary soldier.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said earlier this month that his country was losing the battle against the rebels.

Mr Singh told a meeting of police chiefs from different states that rebel violence was increasing and the Maoists' appeal was growing.

The rebels operate in 182 districts in India.

Print Sponsor

Leak reveals India Maoist threat
21 Sep 09 |  South Asia
Indian Maoists in fierce battle
18 Sep 09 |  South Asia
India is 'losing Maoist battle'
15 Sep 09 |  South Asia
Ambush kills 29 Indian policemen
13 Jul 09 |  South Asia
India bans Maoist communist party
22 Jun 09 |  South Asia
India rights activist to be freed
25 May 09 |  South Asia
Indian police killed by 'Maoists'
21 Jun 09 |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific