Ready for talks with Andhra govt: Maoist chief

Andhra Pradesh govt appears to be unwilling for engaging in talks with Maoists, even as the general secretary of the banned outfit Ganapathy said his group is ready for a dialogue with the K Rosaiah administration.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2010, 22:13 PM IST

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh government appears
to be unwilling for engaging in talks with CPI (Maoist), even
as the general secretary of the banned outfit Muppala
Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy said his group is ready for a
dialogue with the K Rosaiah administration, but with certain
pre-conditions.

While, Chief Minister K Rosaiah refused to respond on the
issue, the police has left the issue to be handled at the
political level.

"It is crystal clear that there is no conducive
atmosphere for talks. In spite of this, we request the people
and democrats to demand the government to prove its commitment
towards the process of talks by stopping the Operation Green
Hunt and lifting the ban on Maoists and its affiliate
organisations forthwith," Ganapathy said in his response to a
questionnaire sent by some journalists.

The Maoist chief also wanted the government to set free
some of their leaders lodged in jails and enable them to
directly represent the party in the talks.

However, on government`s readiness for talks with the
Maoists, Rosaiah refused to respond. "I will not talk on the
issue now," he said.

Top sources in the state government, however, said
they could not act in isolation on the Maoists` issue now as
the Centre is also seriously working on measures to contain
the menace in various parts of the country.

"As things stand, it is for the Centre to take the
call and respond to the Maoists` latest offer. We may take any
follow up action based on the Centre`s directives," a top
government source said.

Police, however, are wary of the Maoists` ploy of
engaging the government in talks on one hand and trying to
expand their base on the other. "It happened in 2004-05, but
we successfully thwarted the Maoists` attempts. We are still
on guard," a top official said.

The Andhra Pradesh government had held peace talks with
the then Peoples` War Group, the earlier incarnation of
Maoists, in December 2004 after Congress came to power.

The talks, however, failed but the state police,
particularly the elite anti-Naxal force Greyhounds, succeeded
in inflicting a severe damage on the rebel outfit by
eliminating most of its top leaders, including Azad.

This has reduced the Maoists virtually to nothing in
the state, though the police are apprehensive about the
outlaws` re-entry.

"In Andhra Pradesh, Riyaz who had participated in
talks with the government in 2004 was caught and murdered
after he was brutally tortured. Others who participated in
talks were targeted and attempts were made to assassinate
them.

"Now, Azad who was working to facilitate the process
of talks, was also murdered," Ganapathy alleged.

-PTI