Naxal truce offer `bizarre`: Chidambaram
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 21:53
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.


First Published: Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 21:53

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