Initiate talks with Naxals, Agnivesh tells Chhattisgarh CM

Noted social activist Swami Agnivesh appealed to Chhattisgarh government to initiate talks to solve the problem of Naxalism.

Updated: Feb 12, 2011, 17:37 PM IST

Raipur: Noted social activist Swami Agnivesh
on Saturday appealed to Chhattisgarh government to initiate talks to
solve the problem of Naxalism.

The tribal-dominated Chhattisgarh is home to a large
number of Naxals and is considered their bastion. Hence, the
Chief Minister should come forward to solve this decades-old
problem through dialogue, he said at a press conference here
in the presence of Chief Minister Raman Singh.
Five jawans of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force, abducted by
Maoists on January 25, were released unconditionally last
night in a village in Narayanpur district, Agnivesh said.

The social activist was present during their release.
The Naxals had demanded a 24-hour halt to operations by
security personnel before the release of the jawans. The state
government had responded by declaring a 48-hour ceasefire.
This gesture indicted that there was yearning for peace in the
state, he said.

Agnivesh said he will also talk to Union Home Minister P
Chidambaram and senior Central leaders about initiating talks
with the ultras. He said the jawans were not harmed during
captivity and were released without any conditions.

The social activist called for a review of the cases of
people, who have been jailed in the name of being Naxal
sympathisers, and the innocent among them should be released.

Singh thanked Agnivesh, other social activists and media
for the safe release of the jawans and added that his
government was not averse to talking with Naxals.

The CM said the Naxal problem was not confined to
Chhattisgarh and assured to take up the issue of talks with
the Union Home Minister.