Kolkata: Clearly jolted by the arrest of one of his key aide’s, Maoist leader Kishenji has indicated willingness to hold talks with the government if Venkateswar Reddy alias Telugu Dipak along with all other arrested Maoist leaders are released unconditionally.
In a press statement, the Maoist leader said that the Centre or state government is yet to respond on the issue of talks and claimed that the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is not interested in talks, and that “revolutionary retribution” will continue as long as there is “state-sponsored terrorism”. “Both sides should sit for dialogues,” he said.
Accusing the Centre, he said, “We had given a cellphone number to the Centre to call us. On the date proposed for talks with the Centre they did not call us. Instead they shot dead Lalmohan Tudu, the leader of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, in cold blood.”
He then set a deadline before the government and asked it to call him on the telephone number provided to it earlier before March 06, 2010 if the two sides really wanted to hold talks.
One of Kishenji`s key aides Raju also told a TV channel: “We feel both sides, the Ministry and the Maoists, should sit across the table and decide how and when to stop operations on both sides. The DMK and TMC are misleading the people on the issue of price rise. And finally, West Bengal state Maoist Committee member Deepak should be released immediately.”
However, there has been no official response from the Centre to the Naxal leader’s new truce terms.
The latest demands from the leader of the banned ultras came shortly the West Bengal Police and CID arrested Venkateshwar Reddy, a top leader in the Maoist hierarchy.
Reddy alias Teulgu Deepak is believed to have played a crucial role in recent Naxal attacks in Bihar and West Bengal.
Deepak who was arrested in a joint operation, is the chief of the Maoists` military operations across three states of Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand. He is also known to be an expert in handling explosives.
This is the first-ever arrest of a member of the Maoist organisation`s military unit.
Telugu Deepak`s arrest is the first major success for the Bengal police since the Maoist upsurge in Lalgarh. Deepak is believed to be the mastermind of the Shilda attack last month when Maoists ambushed the police camp in West Midnapore district and gunned down 24 personnel.
The Maoists had earlier offered a 72-day ceasefire provided the Centre stops its anti Naxal operations.
But the Union Home Minister made it clear that there can be no conditions for talks and that the Maoists must abjure violence for talks to begin.