Naxal truce offer `bizarre`: Chidambaram

Chidambaram said Maoists were attacking security forces while offering olive branches to the govt.

Updated: Mar 02, 2010, 21:53 PM IST

New Delhi: Terming the ceasefire offer by
Maoists as "bizarre", Home Minister P Chidambaram Tuesday said
the ultras were attacking security forces while offering olive
branches to the government.

"It was a somewhat bizarre offer ... barely three hours
after the so-called offer (by Kishenji on February 22), the
CPI (Maoist) attacked a joint patrol party of the West Bengal
police and the CRPF in Lalgarh, West Midnapore," Chidambaram
told reporters here.

"In the seven days since then, there have been 18
significant acts of violence in Bihar, Chhattisgarh,
Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal," he said.

"I may point out that eleven lives have been lost
including that of Inspector Ravi Lahan Mitra of Saranga police
station in West Bengal," he said.

The Home Minster said he had offered to facilitate talks
with the CPI (Maoist) provided they abjured violence.

"There was no meaningful response to that offer.
Nevertheless, on February 23 I responded that if the CPI
(Maoist) made a short, simple and unconditional statement that
they would abjure violence, government would be prepared to
hold talks with them. I have received no response to my
statement," he said.

‘Cautious against complacency’

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the Pune
blast, the first major attack in 14 months since the 26/11
Mumbai carnage, Chidambaram today warned
against complacency and said everyone should be vigilant
against possible terror strikes.

The Home Minister hinted that a terror-free 2009 might
have resulted in complacency at certain quarters.

Recalling his speech during an Intelligence Bureau lecture
in December 2009, Chidambaram asked everyone to be vigilant.

In his lecture, he had said, "...there is danger of a
terror-free year inducing complacency, signs of which can be
seen everywhere. A strange passivity seems to have descended
upon the people."

Asking people to be more vigilant, Chidambaram said, "I
would like to once again caution against complacency and
advise greater vigilance. Shops, establishments, businesses,
schools, colleges, hospital etc and above all, the people must
be vigilant and take measures that will complement the
measures taken by police to provide security."

On whether the probe into the Pune blast would be taken
over by the National Investigation Agency, he said, "No
decision has been taken on handing it over to NIA. I am
informed that the investigation is one the right track. We
just have to be a little more patient."

He said police had made security arrangements in Koregaon
park, especially for the Osho Ashram and the Chabad house.

Police had issued a written advisory to all establishments
in the area including German Bakery for enhancing security on
October 9, 2009 and was reissued on December 12, 2009.

"Despite these measures, a bomb was exploded in the
German bakery," he said.

‘Expect Pak to probe LeT chief`s role’

Meanwhile, Chidambaram expressed regret that
Pakistan government is allowing LeT chief Hafiz Saeed to make
"provocative and insidious" speeches and pressed for probing
his role behind the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.

"Based on the information that we have furnished, any
responsible government will investigate the role of Hafiz
Saeed. Far from investigating his role, Pakistani government
is allowing him to make provocative and insidious speeches.
That is deeply regretted," the Home Minister said.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had on February 25
handed over three dossiers to her Pakistani counterpart Salman
Bashir containing names of 34 terrorists wanted here,
including Saeed, and demanded for handing them over and other
effective action.

"Three dossiers prepared by MHA were handed over by our
Foreign Secretary to the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan. We
expect Pakistan to take action against the persons mentioned
in the three dossiers," he added.