Bhopal: Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Thursday appealed to Naxalites to desist from violence and join the democratic mainstream even as he said his party would fight the left-wing extremism with "courage and determination".
In an article in a Hindi daily on the May 25 attack on a Congress rally in Chhattisgarh, he said that Naxalites in India should learn from Maoists in Nepal who decided to take part in elections and were now in power.
Singh, who had some time ago expressed himself against Operation Green Hunt to tackle Maoists, said he was hopeful that the Naxalites would seriously consider his appeal and arrive at some decision soon.
The Congress leader said he was confident that his party would once again prove that it was capable of fighting adverse circumstances.
He said that the Congress had fought against left and right terrorism in the past and added that it will continue to do so with courage and determination.
According to Singh, following the attack, a number of questions have arisen and all of them need to be answered properly.
He said that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had himself accepted that there was security lapse which caused the attack but it should be found out who was responsible for this lapse.
He asked if Singh would fix responsibility for the attack and take action against those found guilty or he would try to save himself by saying that no action would be taken till a judicial report is received on the attack.
The Congress leader claimed police had not followed the standard operating practice which is usually conducted before such rallies and added that they had taken three hours to reach the site of the attack even though a police station was five kms away from it.
Singh said that the Congress had given information to the police about the rally 10 days before the attack and yet no search operation was conducted before it.
He said that the NIA, which will conduct a probe into the attack, should find answers to all these questions.
He said that leaders like Nand Kumar Patel, Mahendra Karma and Uday Mudliar who were killed in the attack would always be remembered as martyrs as they had sacrificed their lives for the sake of a principle.