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'Centre can't sit idle when people's lives are in danger'

June 23, 2009 17:24 IST
Defending the Centre's decision to deploy paramilitary forces in Lalgarh, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the Centre could not sit idle when lives of people were in danger and the state government failed to reopen Lalgarh police station.

"The state government failed to reopen Lalgarh police station which remained closed for seven months, and lives of policemen and people were affected by regular violence. Under these circumstances the Centre cannot sit idle," Mukherjee told mediapersons in Berhampore endorsing the Centre's action for the second time in two days.

The paramilitary troops were sent after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Central forces, he said.

Describing the ban on the Communist Party of India-Maoist as "nothing earthshaking," he said they had been banned for unleashing violence.

"Besides, it is a new name for the two banned organisations of MCC and People's War Group," he said.

He warned the CPI-M not to extract political mileage out of the deployment of paramilitary forces. He also asked Congress workers to see that rumours don't spread on Lalgarh developments.

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