India rebuffs US security concerns

Agence France Presse

New Delhi, January 29:

India dismissed today security concerns expressed by the US ambassador to India about Maoist rebel activity in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, host to a number of multinational firms.

“Naxalite activity has caused some problems in Andhra Pradesh but it’s manageable and one need not be unnecessarily panicky about it,” Indian defence minister Pranab Mukherjee said on the fringes of a meet.

Andhra Pradesh’s capital, Hyderabad, is second only to the southern city of Bangalore as a centre for India’s rapidly expanding information technology and outsourcing industries.

When asked whether the rebel violence might deter foreigners from investing in Andhra Pradesh, he said: “It is for the investors to decide. I’m saying there’s no need for panicking.” Mukherjee’s comments came after US ambassador David C Mulford on a visit to Hyderabad said earlier this week he had asked the local administration about political violence.

“I asked about the Naxalite activity which is a concern for people outside,” Mulford said.