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Growing link between Maoists and Pakistan's ISI: West Bengal's top cop

New Delhi West Bengal's top cop today told the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that there was clear and a growing link between the CPI (Maoist) and Pakistan's dreaded Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency. West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Naparajit Mukerjee also told the MHA that the link between the Maoist and the ISI was clear in four districts bordering Bangladesh, including Murshidabad.

Mr Mukerjee made this revelation to the MHA in a meeting to review the progress made by states to deal with the threat of Maoist insurgency. Maoists have a strong to moderate presence in as many as nine states in India. Central security agencies have earlier warned about the growing links between the CPI (Maoist) and militant Islamic outfits like the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). A link between Pakistan's ISI - accused of being the master mind of the 26/11 Mumbai strikes and also believed to have strong links with terrorist organisations the Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT) - and CPI (Maoist) hasn't yet been said so definitively.

In a related development, the MHA has asked the states not to swap hardcore Maoist to secure the release of hostages. In May this year, the Maoist had kidnapped Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon. He was kept a hostage for 13 days and Maoists had demanded the release of several hardcore arrested insurgents. The MHA has also asked the states to have a trained and dedicated team of negotiators for hostage negotiations.

Also, the MHA has told the states that, if required the elite National Security Guard (NSG) commandos would be made available to launch operations to secure the release of hostages. Most of the nine states present in today's meeting, it is understood, have agreed to the MHA plan to deal with hostage situations. The new policy to deal with hostage situation clearly shows that the MHA is advocating a hard line to deal with Maoist insurgency.
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