Govt hopeful Maoists will come forward for talks
Notwithstanding the negative response of Maoists to its peace offers, the government is optimistic that the Left extremists would agree to talks once they "feel the heat" of the ongoing security operations.
New Delhi: Notwithstanding the negative
response of Maoists to its peace offers, the government is
optimistic that the Left extremists would agree to talks once
they "feel the heat" of the ongoing security operations.
"Once they (Naxals) feel the heat and pressure, they
will talk," Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said on Tuesday.
In an interview to a private news channel, he also
said the governments of Naxal-affected states were cooperating
with the Centre with regard to the ways and means to tackle
the extremist menace.
The five states most affected by the menace -
Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal - are
ruled by non-Congress governments.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,
whose state has been witnessing Maoist violence despite the
ongoing joint security operations, has been advocating similar
operations in Jharkhand on the grounds that the extremists,
after committing a crime were taking shelter in the jungles of
the neighbouring state.
While the central forces and those in some states are
carrying out offensive against the extremists, the government
has repeatedly asked the Maoists over the last few months to
abjure violence and come forward for talks.
When Home Minister P Chidambaram recently wrote
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offering to resign following
the killing of 76 security personnel by Naxals in Dantewada,
the opposition parties had opposed his move saying they wanted
him to continue dealing with the Maoists.
Chidambaram had in February announced publicly a fax
number of his Ministry, saying the extremists could send their
proposal by issuing a statement on abjuring violence.
This move by Chidambaram was in response to a truce
offer by Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji.
The government has not received any written offer
yet, but the Home Minister again renewed his offer while
addressing students in Delhi`s Jawaharlal Nehru University
Naxal experts say that the initial offer of the
Maoists for a 72-day truce was "just to buy time" as it was
during the period when tribals had to enter forests to cut
fruits, `mahua` and tobacco leaves, forcing the extremists to
abandon their camps.
The Maoists want the ban on their outfit lifted, a
ceasefire from security forces and the release of their cadres
from jails among other things to start any talks.
However, the government has made it clear that there
should not be any pre-conditions attached to starting talks
other than abjuring violence.
The extremists, despite the peace offers, have only
increased their level of violence. A month after the Dantewada
massacre, the Naxals on Saturday set off an IED blast in
Bijapur district killing eight CRPF personnel.