Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told mediapersons in New Delhi that the CPI-Maoist was formed after the merger of two organisations -- CPI (ML) People's War and MCC, both of which were already banned outfits under the Unlawaful Activities (Prevention) Act.
"All that we have done today is to avoid any ambiguity. We have added the words of CPI-Maoist in the schedule of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act," he said, adding "It was always a terror organisation and today an ambiguity has been removed."
Chidambaram said the merged organisation will continue to be a terror organisation as that is the position in the law.
"When I looked into the matter, a couple of days ago, I said that may be the position in the law...In order to avoid any ambiguity, let's add CPI-Maoist by name in that schedule of the Act," he said on the move to declare the CPI-Maoist as a banned organisation.
He said a number of states, including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, have declared CPI-Maoist as an Unlawful association and others like Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu have done so under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
"When I had a discussion with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattachrajee, I advised him to ban CPI-Maoist under section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. That power is available with the state government. I didn't change my view. I still think that West Bengal government should declare CPI-Maoist as unlawful association," he said.
To a question about opposition from Left parties, especially the Communist Party of India-Marxist, he said the Left has taken a view which is not of the West Bengal government.
"I hope distinction between the party and the government is still there in this country. I expect that Chief Minister (Buddhadeb) will look into the matter and I hope that the state cabinet will take an appropriate decision," he said.
In September 2004, CPI(ML) and MCC announced their decision to merge and named the new organisation as CPI (Maoist).
There was some opposition to the merger and some elements in the two organisations continued to function independently.
After some months, the merger seemed to have been accepted broadly, even though there are still some groups in some states which continue to have differences over the issue.
The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act enables the Central government to declare an association as unlawful (Section 3).
It also contains a definition of 'terrorist organisation' in Section 2(1)(m) and the terrorist organisations are listed in the Schedule of the Act.
With the CPI(Maoist), the Centre has so far declared 35 organisations as banned outfits. Those already banned include Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hijbul Mujahideen, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and United Liberation Front of Asom.