Kolkata: The Ministry for Home Affairs has strongly objected to the West Bengal government’s decision to release top Maoist leaders Chandi Sarkar and Pradip Chatterjee.

It has also warned the state government to inform the Ministry before deciding on to release any political prisoner.
Ministry’s warning has come as a major setback to the state government as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not expect the objection.

Intervening in the matter, Union Minister for Home Affairs P Chidambaram warned the state government of any haste in decision making.

It should be learnt that in order to fulfill her promise made during election campaign, Banerjee constituted a Prisoner Release Committee which has recommended the release of 78 prisoners in its report.

Later, the state government decided to release 52 prisoners including Sarkar and Chatterjee.

Coming down heavily on the state government, Centre said the two Maoist leaders cannot be released under any circumstances. However, the Home Ministry has no problem with release of other 50 political prisoners but said the Ministry should be informed before taking any such decision.