Terming Thursday's attack on a passenger train in Jharkhand as a 'cowardly act', Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said on Friday that Maoists were terrorists and he had no sympathy for them.
"There is no difference between terrorists and Maoists.They are making railway stations, trains, mobile towers and schools soft targets. They also held up a train in West Bengal. I have no sympathy for them," Pillai said after a meeting with senior Orissa government officials in Bhubhaneshwar.
Stating that coordinated operations by different states with help from the Centre could be beneficial for fighting Maoists, he said no military action was being planned against the extremists, but efforts were being made to restore the civil administration.
Asked about the possibility of aerial attack on Maoists who sheltered in forests and hilly terrains after operations, he said "We do not need to go for aerial attack on Maoists." Eight bogies of the Tata-Bilaspur passenger train derailed on Thursday night after Maoists blew up railway tracks in Jharkhand's West Singhbhum district.
On a proposal to provide a helicopter to Orissa for anti-Maoist operations, he said the Centre had granted Rs 5 crore for it. Stating that most states remained under-policed, Pillai said that the ratio should be 220 policemen for every one lakh population. "But there is only 120 policemen per one lakh population which is inadequate. Then there are vacancies," he said.
On the requirement of a helicopter, Chief Secretary T K Mishra said that the state government needed more funds for a large one. "The Centre had agreed to give more funds for it," Mishra told reporters. The state also requires more central para-military forces, additional funds to modernise the police and central police training institutes, he said.