New Delhi: Peace negotiator between the Central government and Maoists Swami Agnivesh claimed on Wednesday that the Maoist spokesperson Azad was going to convey a date for ceasefire to the government before he was killed.
Cherukuri Rajkumar, alias, Azad, was shot dead by the Andhra Pradesh police last Friday in an Adilabad forest in the state. He was a top CPI (Maoist) leader and polit bureau member and was considered No 3 in the party hierarchy. The encounter came less than three days after Naxalites massacred 27 CRPF personnel in Narayanpur, Chhattisgarh.
Maoists have called for a 48-hour all-India shutdown in protest of the killing.
Swami Agnivesh, a Delhi-based activist who is playing the role of a mediator between the Govt and Naxals, said the killing was “setback to the peace process.”
“I understand that Azad was soon going to convey a date for ceasefire to the govt and then the peace talks would have started,” he said.
Agnivesh also called for a judicial probe into the incident and said it had vitiated the atmosphere and increased the sense of mistrust among Maoists.
“Azad was pro-talks. He wanted a mutual ceasefire to which Home Minister P Chidambaram had also agreed. What has now happened is shocking,” he insisted.
Agnivesh assured he would not let the peace process derail and the ideal tribute to Azad “would be to start the peace talks.”